Girl accused of murder was angry with Angela Wrightson before attack

A teenage girl accused of battering a frail alcoholic to death in her Hartlepool home admitted she was '˜angry' with her for chasing her sister down a street with a metal bar.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 12:15 pm
Updated Friday, 11th March 2016, 12:21 pm
Angela Wrightson.

The older of two girls charged with the murder of Angela Wrightson at her home in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, on December 8, 2014, said her sister was crying and she told her ‘never to go to that area again’ after the incident.

The girl and her co-accused, who were 14 and 13 at the time of Ms Wrightson’s death, and are now 15 and 14, both deny murder at a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Ms Wrightson, 39, suffered more than 100 injuries during a savage attack spanning several hours.

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She weighed just six-and-a-half stone at the time of her death.

During cross-examination by the younger girl’s barrister John Elvidge QC, the girl admitted she had challenged Ms Wrightson over her previous behaviour towards her sister, but said it was not the catalyst for the assault.

Mr Elvidge asked the defendant: ”Had Angela chased your sister down the street?”

She replied: “Yeah, with a metal bar.

Mr Elvidge continued; “How did you feel about that?”

She went on: “She was crying and I told her to keep away from that area.”

When asked if the incident made her angry, she said: “Yeah, anyone would be.

Mr Elvidge, reading from an additional defence statement the girl had made to a solicitor prior to the trial detailing events from the night of Ms Wrightson’s death, said: “Angela Wrightson had been angrily suggesting that her landlord had stolen her keys.

“(Older girl) said she wished she had nothing more to worry about than a set of keys.

“Angela Wrightson was shouting and swearing.

“(Older girl) then challenged Angela Wrightson about why she had chased her sister down the street.”

She admitted she was angered by Ms Wrightson swearing at her.

Earlier jurors were told that police had been called after the older girl had slapped two women in the head and pushed another during a row just weeks before she was arrested for Ms Wrightson’s murder.

The girl has previously admitted launching a frenzied attack on Ms Wrightson - but didn’t believe she could die from her injuries.

She said she had attacked Ms Wrightson after her co-accused told her to ‘knock her out’.

John Elvidge QC, during cross-examination today, said she wanted ‘everyone’ to believe’ she was following the order of her co-accused during the brutal beating.

The defendant told the court she was scared of Ms Wrightson and had only entered her home on the night of her death after her co-accused had gone in the property.

But Mr Elvidge said CCTV footage showed she had entered the victim’s property first.

Mr Elvidge said: “You want people to believe you were scared of Angie.

“You want everyone to think (younger girl) told you what to do.

“You want everyone to think that you only did what you did in Angie’s house because (younger girl) told you to do it.”

The girl replied; “No, I can’t decide what people think can I.”

The trial broke early for lunch after the older girl became ‘upset’ during the period of questioning via video link.

Mr Justice Henry Globe, who is presiding over the murder trial, told the jury: “I have received information that (older girl) is upset at the moment.

“I am satisfied she is not fit enough to continue answering questions at this moment in time.”

The trial continues.