Trial continues of teenagers charged with battering Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson to death

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The trial is continuing today of two teenagers accused of brutally beating a woman to death.

Angela Wrightson suffered more than 100 injuries when she was battered in a “sustained and brutal” attack in her home by girls aged 13 and 14, a court heard.

Selfie taken in the police van following the arrest of the two teenagers

Selfie taken in the police van following the arrest of the two teenagers

She was battered with a wooden stick, a TV set, a computer printer, a coffee table and a shovel, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday.

The 39-year-old, was subjected to a “sustained and brutal” assault before her half-naked body was found at her home in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, in December, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The jury was told the younger girl took selfies at Ms Wrightson’s home after the violence had started and published one on social media site Snapchat.

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Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, told the jury she was found by her landlord, with her body sitting on a sofa in her front room, naked from the waist down.

Forensic experts found shards of glass and gravel around her “private parts”, Teesside Crown Court heard. They also found ash in her right ear.

Flowers left outside the Stephen Street home o Angela Wrightson.

Flowers left outside the Stephen Street home o Angela Wrightson.

Mr Campbell said: “It became clear that Angela Wrightson had been the victim of a sustained and brutal assault.

“There were well over 100 injuries. The evidence at the scene of the crime showed she had been struck in 12 separate locations within that room.

“A number of implements were used as weapons. They included a wooden stick with screws standing proud of the surface, a TV set, a printer from a home computer, a coffee table and a shovel.

“Smaller items such as a kettle and a metal pan were used together with a glass vase and other ornaments.”

Flowers left outside the Stephen Street home of murder victem Angela Wrightson. Picture by FRANK REID

Flowers left outside the Stephen Street home of murder victem Angela Wrightson. Picture by FRANK REID

The jury was told both girls, now aged 14 and 15, deny murder and cannot be named.

“The prosecution case is that they were in it together and that they are jointly responsible for this fatal act,” Mr Campbell said.

The older girl denied intending to cause serious harm to Miss Wrightson, Mr Campbell said.

The younger girl claims she played no part in the assault and did not encourage her co-accused.

The girls had let themselves in through Miss Wrightson’s unlocked front door at around 7.30pm and left after 11pm, jurors heard. They came back at around 2am the next morning before leaving a final time at 4am.

Ms Wrightson may already have been dead by 11pm, the court was told.

Between 11pm and 2am they chatted with a local teenager who asked why they had blood on their clothes, jurors heard. They told him they had both fallen over. He heard the older girl say: “We have to get back to the house, check if she is dead.” The court heard she was an alcoholic and allowed young people to drink in her house and would buy cigarettes and alcohol for them from a local shop.

The older girl had visited her mother on the day of the attack, the jury heard. “You will be hearing that theirs is not a constructive relationship,” Mr Campbell said.

The girl was seen to be upset and when a relative asked why, she said her mother “had told her to go and kill herself”, the court heard.

The younger girl confided in a friend the next day how a terrified Ms Wrightson begged for them to stop, the court heard. “She said it had all started when Angela Wrightson had threatened her with a knife and when (she) retaliated, (the other girl) joined in as well,” Mr Campbell said the witness will claim the defendant told her. “Thereafter (the older girl) had done most of the stuff, they had smashed up the house and they had smashed the bits over Angela Wrightson.”

The girl told her friend that the TV was smashed over their victim and they had “stamped all over her head”.

Mr Campbell said the defendant told her friend “Angela Wrightson had been saying ‘please don’t, stop, I’m scared’” but they carried on.

Mr Campbell said the friend will say the younger defendant wanted Ms Wrightson dead and “had a hate for Angie, but she didn’t know why”.

The defendants were close friends.

“It is the prosecution case that each was a bad influence on the other and at night,” Mr Campbell said. “The night of the murder was such a night.”

Around six weeks before the murder the younger girl sent the older defendant a message referring to her “little partner in crime”, the court was told.