TWO girls aged 13 and 14 sobbed in the dock when they appeared before a crown court judge charged with murdering a 39-year-old woman.
The teenagers were charged with murdering Angela Wrightson whose body was discovered at her home in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, on Tuesday morning.
A post-mortem examination found she died as a result of blood loss and she had suffered substantial injuries.
The girls appeared before Teesside Crown Court separately, and the judge, prosecution and defence barristers did not wear wigs on account of the defendants’ age.
The younger defendant appeared before the Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton first. She was flanked by two security officers.
Her father and mother, who sobbed when she saw her daughter this morning at a youth court hearing, were present to hear that she would be remanded to youth detention accommodation.
The 13-year-old, wearing a fluffy jumper and black leggings, wiped a tear from her eye as she was taken away.
The 14-year-old was then brought in, watched by her father and two female well-wishers. The girl wept throughout the brief hearing, clutching a tissue.
She wore grey tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie for the hearing.
She was also remanded into youth detention accommodation.
The court heard one girl will be held in Yorkshire and the other in the North East.
The judge made an order preventing the press from publishing any details which could identify either defendant.
No details of the alleged murder were read out and no pleas were entered.
The judge said a preliminary hearing will be held on December 18 to set out a timetable for the case.
Neither defendant will be at the hearing.