A grandmother, who was found strangled in her wheelchair at a Birmingham nursing home, was seen sleeping for long periods just before she died, an inquest jury heard.

Brigid Veronica O'Callaghan , known as Vera, aged 74, was found dead in her wheelchair with a lap-belt strap around her neck when she stayed at Amberley Court Nursing Home, Birmingham Coroner's Court was told.

A pathologist's report showed that Mrs O'Callaghan, of Caversham Place, Sutton Coldfield, had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease but had died of asphyxiation and had injuries on her neck consistent with a strap mark.

Her daughter, Ann, said it was clear nurses had not put her mother to bed on the night of October 27, 2005, and instead she had been left strapped in her wheelchair overnight.

But, according to a document read out at the inquest, a nurse on a night shift had seen Mrs O'Callaghan and noted she had "slept well for long periods" and "had a comfortable night".

Mrs O'Callaghan was staying in Amberley Court Nursing Home, in Edgbaston Road, Edgbaston, for a week so her daughter could have some respite from the constant care and attention she needed.

But after her second night in the home, a morning housekeeper found her dead in her wheelchair with a lap-belt strap around her neck, Ann O'Callaghan told the inquest jury.

The emergency buzzer was found out of reach, wrapped around a lamp, she said.

Senior Sister at the BUPA home, Melanie Manumbre, who started her shift at 8am that morning, said: "When I went in to see Mrs O'Callaghan she was slumped in her chair with a strap around her neck.

"Her bottom and hands were on the floor and when I saw her face-to-face I realised she was dead.

"I thought she had only just died as the nurse's handover report said she had had a comfortable night."

Ms Manumbre said the night nurse on duty, Helen Macharia, was supposed to check on each of the 27 people in the home every two hours during the night.

Helen Macharia has now left the country, Ms Manumbre said. She is not expected to give evidence at the inquest.