Teenage girl who admits killing Angela Wrightson 'could attack again' due to mental condition, court told

Angela Wrightson.
Angela Wrightson.

A teenage girl who killed a Hartlepool woman after a horrific attack in her Hartlepool home is "far more dangerous" because of a mental condition which limits her understanding of her actions - and could carry out another violent assault in the future, a court has been told.

The older of two girls accused of murdering Angela Wrightson in Stephen Street in December 2014 will admit manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after a doctor told jurors in her murder trial she suffers from a mental condition called Other Mixed Disorder of Conduct or Emotions which impacts on her understanding of the consequences of her behaviour.

Both girls, who were 13 and 14 at the time of Ms Wrightson's death, both deny murder at a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Ms Wrightson was found with in excess of 100 injuries in her blood-spattered home after being the victim of a prolonged and vicious attack.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Indranil Chakrabarti, giving evidence under cross-examination by prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC, said her 'mental abnormality' would effect her self control.

Dr Chakrabarti said: "Her cognitive abilities, her early life experiences and violent upbringing, make her far more dangerous, because it effects her self control.

"If not for these illnesses she would have had self control.

"In my opinion, because of her mental condition she could engage in a violent incident again."

He said she didn't fully grasp the 'dangerous and reckless' nature of her behaviour.

Under questioning by Mr Campbell, Dr Chakrabarti denied that a 'six minute gap' in the savage attack carried out against Ms Wrightson did not cast doubt on his belief she had a diminished responsibility at the time of her death.

He said she showed the 'nous' to take cover when visitors knocked on the door while she was present in Ms Wrightson's home on the evening she was battered to death.

Mr Campbell said; "The prosecution says that at 9.55pm (on the night Ms Wrightson was attacked on December 8) the house was already trashed and Angela Wrightson was already seriously injured.

"Two people came knocking at the door to gain access and it is agreed that the defendants went from the front room to the kitchen and into the bathroom and remained there for about six minutes while the furore was going on outside.

"It is accepted that after six minutes, there was more violence.

"Would you not have considered whether it is consistent with the diagnosis of diminished responsibility that she had the nous to hide away from prying eyes and then continue with the activity that had already begun."

Dr Chakrabarti said this time gap was not relevant as the girl as it was an 'impulsive act'.

The psychiatrist told the court he had met with the older girl, now 15, three times in July and once more on February 26, when the trial was already underway.

He said on the final time he had met with her, she had gave a harrowing account of how she was seeing graphic images blood splattered walls.

Reading from the doctor's report, Nicholas Campbell QC said; "She said her sleep is variable and when she tries to sleep all she can see is blood splattered on the wall.

Concluding his evidence, Dr Chakrabarti said he maintained his belief that the girl's mental condition would impair her ability to understand the consequences of her conduct, to form rational judgements and to exert self control.