Why are Angela Wrightson's teenage killers keeping their anonymity?

A judge who ordered that two teenage girls who carried out the savage murder of a frail Hartlepool woman should not be named - due to the 'real and immediate risk' to the life of one of the defendants.

Thursday, 7th April 2016, 1:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2016, 3:06 pm
Photo from Cleveland Police of a photograph taken by one of two girls when they were getting a lift in the back of a police van only hours after the alleged murder of Angela Wrightson in Hartlepool.

Mr Justice Henry Globe ruled that an order banning the identification of the two killers, both aged, 15, should not be lifted after an application was made by several media organisations.

Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Police also objected to their anonymity being removed upon their conviction for Angela Wrightson's murder.

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Mr Justice Globe, who has presided over the eight-week trial, revealed that the older of the two defendants had tried to commit suicide four times since the case began.

He revealed that she made the latest attempt on her life during a break from court proceedings on Monday - with a quick-thinking court staff member coming to her aid.

The younger of the two girls had also made a suicide bid and had self-harmed during the trial, the court heard.

Mr Justice Globe, referring to the older girl, said: "Despite the terrible thing that you have done and the sentence that has been imposed for it, I am concerned and disturbed by what I regard as a heightened real risk that identification followed by a press blitz will elevate the risk to your life to such an extent that I am satisfied that there is a real and immediate risk to your life if you were to be identified as one of the two girls who murdered Angela Wrightson.

Mr Justice Globe said she was now subject to 'visual two minute checks' on her safety by the Youth Offending team.

The court was told she tried to attack herself using her own hair while at Leeds Crown Court on Monday.

Mr Justice Globe added: "I have received one first-hand report from a member of court staff who I am satisfied saved your life by promt and immediate action when you suddenly decided to violently attack yourself with your own hair."

With regards to the younger defendant, he felt she was more 'robust', but he could not justify naming her alone as she too would be 'extremely vulnerable to outside pressures'.

Ian Wise QC, representing Hartlepool Council, said the anonymity order should remain in place for the welfare of the two defendants as well as their families and those who know them.

He said: "The welfare of these children outweighs any other interests,

"The local authority also has an obligation towards family members of these girls.

"There are also financial concerns as a consequence of the widespread publicity concerning the girls.

"The primary issue is their welfare.

"I would ask for the existing order to remain in place, not the application for the order to be lifted."