TWO girls aged 13 and 14 wept as they appeared before a Crown Court judge charged with murdering a 39-year-old woman.
The teenagers are accused of killing Angela Wrightson, whose body was discovered at her home in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, in December.
A post-mortem examination found she had suffered substantial injuries and died as a result of blood loss.
The girls, who are being kept in separate secure accommodation, were brought before Teesside Crown Court’s most senior judge, Recorder of Middlesbrough Simon Bourne-Arton.
He instructed all the barristers to take off their wigs for the hearing, and the girls were not made to sit in the dock, but were seated on the back row of the courtroom.
The girls wept during the 20-minute hearing, during which no pleas were entered.
The case was adjourned for a plea hearing on May 20, ahead of a trial date set for June 24 before Mr Justice Globe.