A WOMAN with learning disabilities burnt to death in a care worker's car after she was left there unattended to listen to the radio, a court heard on Wednesday.
Juliet Findlay, 33, was trapped inside the blazing car on the driveway of the care home where she lived.
Another woman, who was also a resident at Déjà Vu residential home in Lindford was rescued from the burning Ford Escort. But Ms Findlay died of her injuries at the home.
At the hearing, the owners of the residential home, Robinia Care South Ltd, admitted failing to ensure her safety.
The court heard that Ms Findlay and the other woman, aged 29, may have accidentally set the car alight with a box of matches once they were left alone in the vehicle.
Prosecutor Dominic Grieve told the hearing at Aldershot Magistrates' Court that the accident occurred on July 7, 2003.
He said: "Disabled resident Juliet Findlay was placed in the driver's seat of a Ford Escort in the driveway for her entertainment.
"She was left there in the company of another resident, unattended by care staff.
"A fire broke out in the car and although the other resident was rescued, Juliet Findlay was burnt to death in the car.
"The practice of leaving residents in the car to listen to the car radio was unacceptable and should not have been carried out.
"The cause of the fire is likely to have been due to combustible materials left in the car, such as matches.
"While the aptitude of the persons in the car is not certain, it is possible that they could have carried out an ignition and the car then caught light.
"The force of the blaze was so great that another car caught light as well as the side of the premises."
Robinia Care South Ltd, based in Bath, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act – one of failing to ensure Ms Findlay's safety and one of failing to carry out a sufficient risk assessment.
The Déjà Vu residential home, which has eight bedrooms, provides round-the-clock care for patients.
The case was adjourned to Winchester Crown Court for sentencing. A date was provisionally set of July 22.