Hartlepool murder that shocked Britain set to be made into film

Angela Wrightson.
Angela Wrightson.

A film inspired by the shocking murder of a vulnerable Hartlepool woman by two teenage girls has been made.

Two 15-year-old girls are serving life prison sentences with a minimum of 15 years for the horrific murder of 39-year-old Angela Wrightson in 2014.

The case shocked the country for its brutality by the schoolgirls who were aged just 13 and 14 at the time.

During the attack at Miss Wrightson’s home in Stephen Street, the pair – who cannot be legally named – took selfies of themselves and even posted a picture on social media taken in a police van after the incident.

Now the crime has been used as the inspiration for an independent film called ‘Like’.

Director Michael Frank says it is a fictional exploration of the real case which raises questions about the influence of social media on teenagers’ behaviour.

The names of Ms Wrightson and the two girls have been changed in the film which does not yet have a release date.

Scenes in the film were completely improvised and were shot entirely by the first-time teenage actors themselves using mobile phones.

The director said: “The approach to making this film is unlike anything I have ever undertaken before.

“The intention was to create an unusual film experience where the audience actually believes they are watching selfie videos the lead characters have filmed and posted online themselves.

“By giving the actors a great deal of control over how they performed and shot the unscripted scenes, they managed to create a unique tone of authenticity and realism.”

Ms Wrightson led a chaotic lifestyle and was taken advantage of by visitors to her home who used it to drink.

Neighbours later described her as a “kind, trusting, decent woman” who was vulnerable in drink.

She suffered more than 100 injuries in the five-hour attack when she was beaten with weapons including a shovel, TV, coffee table and a stick laced with screws.

Jailing the girls at Leeds Crown Court in 2016 the judge, Mr Justice Globe, said: “It was an attack that included gratuitous degradation.”

He said the teenagers had acted in tandem in “a cowardly attack”.