Teens handed life sentences for brutal murder of Angela Wrightson

Two teenage girls have been given life sentences with a minimum of 15 years at Leeds Crown Court for the brutal murder of 39-year-old Angela Wrightson in her home in Hartlepool.

The girls used weapons - including a coffee table, television set, a computer printer and a shovel - to carry out the "sustained and brutal" attack over several hours in December 2014.

The court heard the pair, who were 13 and 14 at the time, shared photographs during and after the attack on social media.

The teenagers cannot be named for legal reasons.

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Victim sustained 70 slashes and 54 blunt force injuries

Angela Wrightson captured on CCTV on the day that she died.

Judge Mr Justice Globe revealed Angela Wrightson sustained a total of 124 injuries during her five-hour ordeal.

Pathology reports showed that she had 70 slash wounds and 54 blunt force injuries, mostly to the head and face.

The 39-year-old also had 22 deflection injuries to her hands and arms as she tried to ward off the blows including three fractured fingers, the judge said.

Speaking to the younger girl, Mr Justice Globe said: "Those defensive injuries support what you said to one of your friends the following day about Angie pleading with you to stop hitting her."

Judge refuses to lift anonymity ban on teenage murderers

Photo of Angela Wrightson taken some years before her death.

A judge refused to lift an order banning the identification of the two girls jailed for the murder of Angela Wrightson after hearing that the older of the pair repeatedly attempted suicide.

Mr Justice Globe said that some of these attempts happened on court premises, during the trial.

In one, the judge told the girl that he was satisfied that a court official saved her life.

He said the case for naming the younger girl was stronger but he accepted she was also vulnerable.

I am concerned and disturbed by what I regard as a heightened real risk that identification 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

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Judge: 'Teens worked together in cowardly attack'

Angela Wrightson was captured on CCTV buying alcohol on the night of her death.

A judge said that teenage girls acted in tandem to carry out the "cowardly attack" on vulnerable Angela Wrightson.

Handing them life sentences at Leeds Crown Court, Mr Justice Globe said: "It was an attack that included gratuitous degradation."

The girls, aged 13 and 14 at the time of the murder, took selfies of themselves with their victim cowering in the background with marks showing on her face.

A selfie taken by the girls that showed Ms Wrightson with marks to her face.

The girls also shared a photograph on social media of them in the back of a police van saying: "...in the back of a bizzie [police] van again."

This was a sustained attack over a long period of time carried out with weapons in many different ways.

"She undoubtedly suffered considerably, both mentally and physically, before she ultimately lost consciousness and died.

"Her alcoholic state, considerable though it was, may have numbed the pain but I stress the word may and it most certainly would not have taken it away."

– Mr Justice Globe

Teens jailed for life for murder of Angela Wrightson

Angela Wrightson was killed in her living room at her home in Hartlepool.

Two teenage girls who battered a 39-year-old woman to death have been jailed for life.

The girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were handed a minimum tariff of 15 years at Leeds Crown Court for the brutal murder of Angela Wrightson in her home in Hartlepool.

The girls, aged just 13 and 14 at the time of the attack, were convicted this week of murdering Ms Wrightson, an alcoholic, in her living room in December 2014.

The pair, now both aged 15, showed no reaction when they were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court.

Vulnerable Ms Wrightson sustained more than 100 injuries after the girls battered her using household items and a stick studded with screws in an ordeal lasting five hours.

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CCTV footage shows Angela Wrightson on the night she was brutally murdered

CCTV footage shows Angela Wrightson on the night of the attack before she was brutally murdered.

It shows Angela buying alcohol in a corner shop for the two girls - who were 13 and 14 at the time.

ITV News' Peter Smith reports:

Police: Angela Wrightson case 'highly unusual'

Detective Chief Superintendent Peter McPhillips

One of the detectives working on the Angela Wrightson murder case said he has never in 25 years "come across such a brutal murder committed by such young girls".

Two teenage girls - aged 13 and 14 at the time - have been found guilty of murdering Angela Wrightson in her home on December 8, 2014.

This was a highly unusual and shocking incident. Throughout almost 25 years of service I have never come across such a brutal murder committed by such young girls.

Angela was subjected to a prolonged, sustained attack and the pathologist identified a significant number of injuries to her body caused by at least 25 blows with weapons...

In my experience this is an almost unique investigation in terms of the age of the offenders and the fact that they are girls.

Many questions remain unanswered about the motive for the murder but the family of Angela who have had to endure the most shocking and traumatic details unfolding over the last few weeks will get some satisfaction from knowing that her killers have now been convicted of the killing.

– DETECTIVE CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT PETER MCPHILLIPS

Family pay tribute to murdered Angela Wrightson

Angela Wrightson was battered with coffee table and printer in her own home Credit: SWNS

Angela Wrightson's family have paid tribute to her as two girls have been found guilty of her brutal murder in her own home.

Her family released a statement saying her "infectious personality touched the hearts of so many people".

It’s true that Angela (or Angie as she was known to us all) led a troubled and at times chaotic lifestyle.

And as a family we were not as close as we ought to have been. The chance to put that right has been taken away from us.

Angie was attacked and brutally murdered in her own home, a place where we all have the right to feel safe.

Listening to the details of her injuries and of her final moments has been a harrowing experience and something which will continue to haunt us each and every day.

No sentence, regardless of its severity, will ever bring Angie back. The two girls responsible will one day be women themselves, free to live their lives and perhaps have children of their own. A right which was taken from Angie.

We would like to thank the police and the prosecution team for their compassion and continued support throughout this difficult time. We’d also like to thank those people who gave evidence and spoke on Angie’s behalf in court. And if any positive can be taken from this experience it is the kindness displayed by those who knew Angie best.

Angie’s infectious personality touched the hearts of so many people and it is those fond memories which we continue to cherish as we attempt to move forward.

– Angela Wrightson's family statement
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