Violence by teenage girls in Angela Wrightson murder 'a total shock to everyone'

Wrightson, 39, lived a 'chaotic life' and was known to social services

Two young teenage girls who brutally murdered a vulnerable alcoholic in her home were already well known to social services for running away, drinking and being sexually active, a review of the case has found.

The review highlighted failings by community safety agencies over the murder of 39-year-old Angela Wrightson, who was battered to death in her Harltepool home in December 2014, but found that no agency could have foreseen the attack.

Wrightson was killed by the two girls, aged just 13 and 14 at the time, who beat her with a shovel, a TV, a coffee table and a stick studded with screws during a five-hour ordeal.

The pair took pictures during the attack and later, as they were being taken home by police who were then unaware of the murder, they posed for a Snapchat picture in the back of the police van.

Despite the girls' anti-social behaviour and difficult backgrounds, care agencies could not have anticipated such a level of violence, the report found.

Dave Pickard, chair of Hartlepool's Local Safeguarding Children Board, one of the authorities behind the report, said: "Their behaviour was troublesome and anti-social before the night in question, but there was no suggestion whatsoever of any serious violence: it was a total shock to everyone."

While the review found that no agency could have prevented the murder it concluded that adult, children and community safety organisations needed to interact more effectively.

But it also concluded that the parents of both girls, had been quick to criticise their daughters' anti-social behaviour but unwilling to accept help to address it or to improve their parenting.

The older girl, referred to in reports by the pseudonym Olivia, had a chaotic home life.

Aged 12, she told care professionals her father had, wrongly, told her that her mother was dead.

As far back as August 2012, while living with her mother, a social worker found the parent in a distressed state, claiming "Olivia was drinking, going to parties, possibly having sexual intercourse and hitting" her younger siblings.

Two months before the murder she was living in a care home, where she ran away on several occasions had was arrested for assaulting members of staff.

The younger girl, named Yasmine in the reports, had been put in foster care after her parents complained about being unable to cope.

The girls took posted pictures during the attack

The report stated there were concerns about her bullying at school and aggression towards her parents.

"She was known to drink alcohol and use drugs, and there were escalating concerns regarding possible underage sexual activity," the report said.

During the trial it emerged that Wrightson, 39, lived a "chaotic life".

An alcoholic, known in her local area as "Alco Ange", she had a string of convictions and regularly got into fights.

But she too was well known to social services and supported, receiving frequent visits from a social worker.

The case reviews were carried out by Hartlepool Local Safeguarding Children Board and the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board.

The teenagers, neither of whom can be identified, were sentenced to life for murder following a trial in April last year at Leeds Crown Court and must serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars.