Tees

Angela Wrightson: Accused's friend 'told me to do it'

Angela Wrightson Image copyright Cleveland Police/PA
Image caption Angela Wrightson, pictured here in her youth, had more than 103 injuries when she died

A girl accused of murdering a vulnerable woman said she attacked her because her friend "told her to".

The girl, then 14, told Leeds Crown Court she punched and kicked Angela Wrightson, 39, while the second girl, then 13, repeatedly asked: "Why is she not knocked out yet?"

Ms Wrightson was found dead in her Hartlepool home in December 2014 with more than 103 injuries.

The girl, who cannot be named because of her age, has admitted manslaughter.

The younger girl, also accused of murder, denies harming Ms Wrightson.

The older girl told the court via videolink: "I always do what people tell me to, I don't know why. I do it if I want to, but I also do it if I don't want to".

'Go kill yourself'

She also said the younger girl would tell her to do things "like give her my Facebook password" and "would sometimes make me go out at night when I didn't want to".

The girl, who told the court she did not know her own birthday, said she and her mother "had a row" on the evening of the attack on Ms Wrightson, which ended in her mother telling her "to go kill yourself".

She said she and the younger girl had gone to Ms Wrightson's house on Stephen Street to drink alcohol.

The pair had already drunk strong cider together and were "a bit tipsy", the girl said, and she had also taken tramadol and codeine given to her by her mother.

She told the court had been taking drugs and drinking alcohol since she was 11 or 12.

Image caption This image, posted on Snapchat by one of the girls, shows Angela Wrightson with marks on her face. The girls' faces have been pixellated (centre and far right) to protect their identities

She told the jury the younger girl and Ms Wrightson had an argument which escalated before the younger girl demanded the older one "knock Angie out".

"She [the younger girl] was just sitting on the sofa, and looking at her phone. And then she said 'why is she not knocked out yet?'

"I pushed Angie over, but she got back up. So I smacked Angie in the face with my fists about four times. And [the younger girl] was just shouting at me and telling me to do it."

The court was also shown a picture drawn by the older defendant two weeks before Ms Wrightson was killed which depicts a female figure stabbing another person.

Image caption The older defendant drew the picture of someone being stabbed two weeks before Ms Wrightson was killed

The girl said she drew it when she was "really really angry" and that she had been advised by her carers to use drawing as a way to manage her feelings.

The court heard it had been "a successful strategy" on previous occasions.

The trial continues.

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