One of the girls accused of murdering Angela Wrightson has tried to commit suicide three times in the last week, a court has heard.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been given evidence at her trial at Leeds Crown Court since Tuesday, March 9.
Her and another girl, now 14, are both accused of murdering Ms Wrightson at her Hartlepool home in December 2014.
The older girl has had to stop giving evidence numerous times over the past week as she grows tired or loses concentration during the later part of the days.
She has been giving her evidence in half hour sessions with 10 minute breaks in between from a video link room in the court building.
Addressing the jury, the judge presiding over the case Justice Henry Globe, said that the court is due to hear from psychiatrists in relation to the two defendants later on in the case.
He said: “You are going to hear that (older girl) has had a number of incidents of self-harming and there have been incidents of attempted suicide.
“In the context of giving evidence, there have been three such incidents, one of them apparently occurred at the place she is staying last Wednesday, a second one occurred while she was at this court last
Friday and a third one occurred over the weekend.
“Being aware of those incidents you will perhaps appreciate a bit more the reason why we have been so careful in relation to trying to make sure that she is alright and in a fit state to continue giving her evidence.”
Earlier the court had heard the details of a letter sent by the older girl to her co-accused last summer while they were both on remand awaiting trial for the killing.
The letter was not received by the younger girl after it was intercepted by staff, the jury heard.
In it the older girl says that misses the other defendant “so much” before adding “I can’t believe what’s happened. I’m proper trashed.”
The letter, sent in July 2015 and read out in court by prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC, continued: “Have said that she pulled a knife out at you.
“We didn’t know what to do.
“Then it kicked off but when we left she was alive.”
The girl also mentioned other friends of the pair and made reference to missing “Partypool”.
The girl added: “Whatever happens and however long we get just keep your chin up bonnie lass.
“I’m thinking of you every step of the way.”
She also wrote: “Wait until we get out. Me and you on the sesh again.
“But this time it will be bigger and better, I’m telling you.
“Keep strong princess, write back and rip this up and flush it down the loo so none of the staff see when they do a room search.
“See you in court. Love you bonnie lass.”
Both girls deny murder.
The trial continues.