Teenager's case must prove she has 'abnormality of mental function', says judge in Angela Wrightson murder case

Angela Wrightson.
Angela Wrightson.

A judge has begun summing up the Angela Wrightson murder trial to jurors who are set to deliberate the case.

Mr Justice Henry Globe was speaking at the hearing at Leeds Crown Court. Two girls, aged 13 and 14 at the time Ms Wrightson died in December 2014, are alleged to have brutally attacked the 39-year-old in the living room of her Stephen Street home.

Items including a television, printer, table, shovel and a vase are said to have been used in the sickening assault, in which the victim sustained more than 100 different injuries.

Yesterday, defence counsel barristers for both girls summed up their cases. Both girls deny murder, although the older girl, now aged 15, admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The younger girl, now 14, admits being present at the time Ms Wrightson was killed but denies playing any part in the attack on the vulnerable alcoholic.

Today, addressing the jury of eight women and four men, Mr Justice Globe told them they must carefully consider all of the evidence which has been presented over the course of the seven-week trial, which has included evidence from both girls, expert witnesses as well as defence and prosecution witnesses, some of who were friends of the girls at the time the alleged offences took place.

"You should make allowances where necessary for the passage of time between the event and the accounts being given about the event," said the judge. "A number of the witnesses are young and you will need to consider their overall maturity and the time lapse. "

Mr Justice Globe also added that for the older's girl defence that she committed manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, a number of factors would have to be proved, including that she was suffering from an "abnormality of mental function" at the time Ms Wrightson was assaulted.

"It's (older girl's) defence that her responsiblity for the killing was diminished by her mental capacity at the time," said the judge. "If she was not, your verdict must be guilty of murder."

The prosecution's case is that both girls set upon Ms Wrightson after an argument broke out when the three were together drinking cider at the terraced house on the evening of Monday,

December 8, 2014. The trial continues.