Angela Wrightson murder: A chaotic life and a tragic death

Flowers left at the house where Angela Wrightson was murdered
Flowers left at the house where Angela Wrightson was murdered

Murder victim Angela Wrightson lived a chaotic life and met with an equally chaotic and tragic death.

Gangs of underage youths would come round to her terraced home and use it as a drinking den, with a neighbour saying he had to clear her house with his dog on the occasions she became overwhelmed by teenagers.

The 39-year-old problem drinker was once banned from buying alcohol anywhere in the country having been involved in dozens of drink-related incidents.

One of nine children, Miss Wrightson was from a troubled background and grew up in the care system. She was known in her area for calling 999 as a cry for help.

Sometimes she would lie in the street and wait for the emergency services to come.

Groups of teenagers would come round to her terraced house in Stephen Street and sit in her house and drink alcohol they had persuaded her to buy.

Neighbour Alan Dixon told how he had cleared her home with the help of his dog DJ.

He told reporters: "She was a kind, trusting, decent woman who was lovely when she was sober, but she was vulnerable in drink and she was taken advantage of by groups of kids."

Speaking after her brutal killing, he said: "They preyed on her because she was too kind-hearted to turn them away. They wanted her for drink, which they would steal from her and if she refused them they would turn nasty."

Others in the street spoke of Ms Wrightson's kindness, her willingness to cook for others and she even brought pizzas round to one neighbour. She gave chocolates to young children and fed the local dogs.

Despite her battle with drink, she was known for keeping a clean and tidy house, which she rented, and was always buying cleaning materials.

The scene of devastation in which she was found, with smashed furniture strewn around her half-naked body, was totally out of keeping with how she looked after her home.