The family of the Hartlepool murder victim Angela Wrightson have rejected an apology from the mother of one of her killers - and called for more to be done to protect vulnerable adults.
Angela was battered to death in her home by two teenage girls in December 2014 who were later found guilty of murder and sentenced to 15 years detention.
Her killers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, inflicted horrific injuries on 39-year-old Miss Wrightson after she had invited them into her home and bought them cigarettes and alcohol.
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Miss Wrightson, and her young killers aged just 13 and 14 at the time, were known to social services and an independent multi-agency review is now being carried out led by the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board and Hartlepool Safeguarding Children Board.
However Miss Wrightson’s niece, Rachel Tresidder, claims she was failed by the system and is fighting to create Angie’s Law – the Vulnerable Persons Act, which she said would give care providers more powers to intervene.
She rejected the apology offered by the mother of the younger killer in an exclusive interview with Tyne Tees, saying she has “no sympathy” for the teenage murderers.
Speaking exclusively to our Social Affairs Correspondent Tom Sheldrick, Rachel said: “Angela's nieces and nephews, including myself, can't understand how this could have happened to our aunt. The entire family have one question that has never been answered - why?
The murder trial heard how groups of underage drinkers would congregate at Miss Wrightson’s home and she would buy alcohol for them.
Sometimes she would call neighbours to make the youngsters move on when they ignored her pleas to leave.
Miss Wrightson’s family said Angie’s Law would help people like her to be protected by bringing in new powers to deal with children or unruly people who are taking over people’s homes.
They now hope to work with the Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald when the serious case review is completed and plan to write to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Hartlepool Borough Council said it is participating fully in the independent reviews but it would be inappropriate to comment on any aspects of the cases until they are concluded.
Independent charity Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) told us they could not comment on individual cases, but guidance on its website on adult safeguarding practice from March 2015 said local authorities are “explicitly required” to work with partner agencies under the Care Act 2014 to actively promote people's independence and wellbeing, not just to respond to crises when they occur.
It goes on to say: “This applies to the safeguarding of adults with care and support needs, where the aim should be to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring (or recurring) wherever possible.”
Rachel said despite her problems, which included spells in prison, her aunt was a “lovely” individual and said the family will never get over her murder.
She also said she could not accept the apology from the mother of one of the killers.
Rachel Tresidder wanted to read this statement on behalf of Angela Wrightson's family: