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Two Teenage Girls Guilty Of Murdering Woman In Her Own Home In "Brutal" Attack

Angela Wrightson, who was 39, was killed by two teenagers who left her with more than 100 injuries.

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Two teenage girls have been found guilty of murdering a 39-year-old woman in her own home in a "brutal and sustained" attack.

Angela Wrightson
Cleveland police

Angela Wrightson

On Tuesday the girls, who are both 15 but were aged 13 and 14 at the time of the attack, were convicted of the murder of Angela Wrightson, in Hartlepool in December 2014. Neither girl can be named for legal reasons.

The seven-week trial at Leeds court heard that the girls left Wrightson's body half naked and covered in blood, with more than 100 injuries including 80 to her head.

They used a coffee table, a stick with screws, a TV, a shovel, and a computer table to repeatedly attack Wrightson.

The court heard that Wrightson, who was an alcoholic, gained a reputation locally as "Alco Ange" and would buy cigarettes and alcohol for children.

The court heard that the girls let themselves into Wrightson's unlocked home and attacked her, while taking pictures of themselves throughout, the BBC reported.

Wrightson's body was found by her landlord the next day on 9 December.

One of the girls uploaded this image to Snapchat, taken in a police van after the attack, the court heard. The caption read: "Me and [older girl] in the back on [sic] the bizzie van again."

Cleveland police

Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, said: "The evidence at the scene of the crime showed that she [Wrightson] had been assaulted on 12 separate locations within and around that room. A number of implements were used."

Campbell told the court the girls left Wrightson's house at 11pm on the night of her death, before returning at 2am to find out if she was alive or dead.

It's unclear whether Wrightson was dead at this point as "further indignities were heaped on" her, Campbell said.

At 4am one of the girls called her carer for a lift but when there was no response she called the police instead, the court heard.

Both girls denied murder although the older of the pair admitted manslaughter.

At one point, one of the girls told the trial that she didn't believe people could die from being beaten.

The trial heard from a care worker for one of the girls, who said that her client expected to go to jail even before the killing and believed it would "sort me out".

Hartlepool Mail

The jury of eight women and four men took three hours to return the guilty verdicts.

According to reporters in court, both girls were in tears as the results were read out.

The defendants will be sentenced this Thursday. The judge, Mr Justice Globe, told them they could both expect "detention for life".

Detective Chief Superintendent Peter McPhillips, of Cleveland police, said in a statement:

"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.

"The Local Safeguarding Adult and Children Board have commissioned a Safeguarding Adult Review and a Serious Case Review, which hopefully will examine the circumstances leading up to the murder. The reviews will determine whether any lessons can be learned and the report will be made public."

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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