Two girls battered woman to death while sending photos of her bloodied face to their friends

By Lydia Willgress

Two teens killed Angela Wrightson as she pleaded for her life. Photo: Supplied
Two teens killed Angela Wrightson as she pleaded for her life. Photo: Supplied

Two teenage girls brutally battered a vulnerable woman to death with a television, spade and a stick studded with screws while giggling and sending photos of her bloodied face to friends on Snapchat.

The selfie-taking murderers, a 13 and 14-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, inflicted more than 100 injuries to Angela Wrightson, 39, as she pleaded for her life in a five-hour attack.

She was befriended by the teenagers to buy them alcohol and cigarettes but the pair turned on Ms Wrightson at her home in Hartlepool, County Durham, in December 2014.

It came as pictures were released of a bloody television set and spade the girls used along with a printer and a coffee table to bludgeon Ms Wrightson to death after inflicting 80 injuries to her face.

Shards of glass and small pieces of gravel or grit were also strewn around Ms Wrightson's private parts and ash from burnt paper put in her ear.

The teenagers documented the killing through pictures - and even selfies - which they posted on Snapchat and were captured on CCTV laughing and giggling as they returned to the house following a "break" from the brutal assault around 2am.

Photographs were released by officers showing a number of blood-stained weapons, which were used during the "sustained and brutal" attack, as the seven-week murder trial came to an end.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were both found guilty of murder having denied the offence at Leeds Crown Court. The jury took just over three hours to come to a verdict.

Ms Wrightson went to the shop for the girls on the night she was killed. Photo / Cleveland Police
Ms Wrightson went to the shop for the girls on the night she was killed. Photo / Cleveland Police

Both girls were left in tears and were led from the dock immediately. They will be sentenced on Thursday.

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Wrightson's family paid tribute to their "Angie" and her "infectious personality" as they revealed they will always be haunted by the details of the case.

They added: "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."

Their comments came after the trial heard the attack lasted around five hours, starting on the evening of December 8.

The girls, who knew Ms Wrightson as she used to buy them cigarettes and alcohol, were said to have let themselves into the property before beginning the attack at some point after 7.30pm.

They then left for "time out" - where they saw a friend, who asked why they were covered in blood, and listened to high energy rap music - before returning to the scene for a further two hours at 2am.

Ms Wrightson's body was discovered by her landlord on the morning of December 9. She was said to have been found in a sitting position on the sofa, naked from the waist down and with a heavy coffee table on top of her. It is not known at what time she died.

The older of the two teenagers, now 15, admitted manslaughter but denied intending to cause serious harm.

The younger girl claimed she played no part in the assault. She instead told police and the jury that the older girl became angry and launched the attack after Ms Wrightson made a comment about her family.

She said her older friend had "whacked" the victim with a table and "booted" her in the head and face. Both defendants admitted being at the property at the time when the injuries were inflicted.

During the trial, the jury were shown a variety of evidence including a picture taken during the assault.

The image, which was uploaded onto Snapchat by one of the girls, showed the pair smiling in the foreground with a blurred Ms Wrightson sitting on a sofa in the background. A caption read: "Nah xx".

Prosecutors claimed the photograph showed cuts on the victim's face, which were not visible on CCTV footage taken two hours before the attack when Ms Wrightson visited a shop.

The girls also took a picture while in the back of a police van, which they called around 4am on December 9 as they tried to get home. The court heard the trip was made after the murder but before the body was discovered.

The image, which was also uploaded to Snapchat, was captioned: "Me and [girl's name] in the back on the bizzie van again." One of the girls could be seen covering her face and lap, which is thought to have been covered with blood, with a jacket.

A number of phone calls were also made by the younger defendant during and after the attack, including one where she confessed: "We done Angie in last night."

When asked by a friend why she did not phone police, she allegedly said: "Because I wanted her dead."

She also made a phone call over Facebook during the attack to a friend, who later reported hearing her say: "Go on [older girl]. Smash her head in. Bray her. F****** kill her."

Other evidence shown to the jury included a disturbing image of a person being stabbed in the chest, which the older girl had drawn a short time before she carried out the attack.

Asked what it showed, the girl told police: "I was going to do this thing, but it did not work."

Asked what it was supposed to be, she replied: "I don't know - I just got angry and went to my room. I started drawing pictures because I was really angry. I just drew something."

In comments made after the verdict, Gerry Wareham, of the Crown Prosecution Service, spoke of the lack of remorse shown by the girls - who had been in local authority care - after the murder and said he hoped Ms Wrightson's family could now move on.

He said: "In our society it is hard to imagine that two girls of such a young age could be capable of such violence.

"The attack... was brutal and sustained. One can only imagine the fear and distress that [Ms Wrightson] must have felt in the final hours of her life.

"Given the severity of their assault... one would expect the girls to have shown a degree of remorse in the wake of her death.

-Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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