Teenager repeatedly tried to take her own life during murder trial in Britain

The teenager was subsequently found guilty along with another teenage girl

Teenager repeatedly tried to take her own life during murder trial in Britain

Barratts / S&G Barratts/EMPICS Archive

The older of two teenagers who was on trial for the murder of a 39-year-old woman, tried to end her own life a number of times during the trial proceedings. One of her suicide attempts was on the premises of the Leeds Crown Court, prompting an official to intervene and save her life. 

The two teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are believed to have inflicted over 100 injuries on the victim's body, many of them to her face in an assault that lasted for a number of hours. They were both sentenced to life in prison, which includes a minimum of 15 years in jail.

Both girls denied the murder charge and objections were raised over the welfare of the teenagers and the possibility of reprisals against their families.

The pair, now 15, were 13 and 14, when they attacked Angela Wrightson at her home in England. It is believed that Ms Wrightson was an alcoholic and the pair had allegedly visited her in the past, as she would buy them alcohol and cigarettes. 

The court heard how the teens were drinking prior to the attack and used a variety of weapons to carry out the 'sustained and brutal' attack in December of 2014. These implements included a wooden stick laced with screws, TV set, coffee table, shovel and a computer printer.

They showed no reaction when they were sentenced by a judge who said the youngesters carried out a 'cowardly attack' that included 'gratuitous degradation.' 

During proceedings, the older teenager was described by social services as the most volatile young person she had come across while the younger girl was said to have used her smartphone to document the extensive assault.

The judge summarised a victim impact statement from the mother of Ms Wrightson in which he said:

"She cannot understand how you could have been as violent as you were. She is not alone in that view. She had been disgusted by the laughing and giggling and sharing of photographs during the time of and immediately after the attack."

Sentencing them, the judge said:

"She (Wrightson) 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.''