Tees

Angela Wrightson death: Accused 'tried to commit suicide three times'

Angela Wrightson Image copyright Cleveland Police/PA
Image caption Angela Wrightson's body was found by her landlord

One of two teenage girls accused of murdering a 39-year-old woman has tried to commit suicide three times in the last week, a jury has been told.

The 15-year-old has been giving evidence in the trial at Leeds Crown Court since Tuesday.

She and her friend allegedly killed alcoholic Angela Wrightson in her home in Hartlepool, County Durham, in December 2014.

Mr Justice Globe told the jury the girl had a history of self-harming.

He said they would hear evidence from psychiatrists who had been in court to hear the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, giving evidence.

'Three incidents'

The judge said: "You're going to hear that [the girl] has had a number of incidents in the past of self-harming and there have been incidents of attempted suicide.

"In the context of her giving evidence, there have been three such incidents.

"One of them apparently occurred at the place where she's staying last Wednesday, the second one occurred while she was at this court last Friday and the third one occurred over the weekend.

"Being aware of these incidents, you will perhaps appreciate a bit more the reason why we have been so careful in relation to making sure she's alright and in a fit state to continue giving her evidence."

The court has been sitting for short days during the trial and the girl has been giving her evidence in half-hour time periods. She has been speaking via video link from a separate room.

The girl, who was 14 at the time, has admitted manslaughter and told the court she repeatedly hit and kicked Miss Wrightson but did not think she could die from her injuries.

The second younger girl, who is now 14 and was 13 at the time, says she played no part in the attack.

Miss Wrightson, who was 5ft 4ins and weighed six and a half stone, was found in her blood-spattered living room with more than 100 injuries.

Both girls admit to being present at the time the injuries were inflicted but deny murder.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

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