'Attempt to start fire' near Angela Wrightson's body, court told

Angela Wrightson.
Angela Wrightson.

A fire may have been attempted to be started close to Angela Wrightson's body following her killing, a court heard.

Giving evidence into the murder trial at Leeds Crown Court, forensic scientist Dr Gemma Escott told the hearing that on examining Ms Wrightson's Stephen Street Home following her death pieces of paper which had been ripped out of a diary or planner in the corner of the room were found on the sofa behind the body, which was lying on a red sofa, with the edges of the paper burned.

Dr Escott said: "There had been a basic attempt to start a fire."

Ms Wrightson's body was naked from the waist down with her bloodstained Nike tracksuit bottoms left on the red sofa on which she was found.

Her legs were splayed so that her genitals were exposed and she was wearing a red polo t-shirt.

There was evidence that she had lost control of her bowels during the assault.

Her left arm was left through a "worn and grubby" lumberjack-style shirt she had been wearing, which had a small burn mark on the back.

Grit had also been poured over Ms Wrightson's body, with some of the substance found in the fold of her t-shirt.

Describing the scene in the front room of the house where the victim was found as "chaotic", Dr Escott also noted extensive blood spattering on the wall behind a green sofa, leading her to believe that this was where she attacked at least five times.

"It suggested to me that she was already dead when she was placed on the (red) sofa, or at least fairly immobile," she said.

When asked by prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC: "From your perspective, could the assault on Angela Wrightson be described as prolonged?" to which she replied: "Yes."

Dr Escott is expected to continue giving evidence tomorrow.

The trial continues.