Girls who murdered vulnerable alcoholic make legal bid to extend anonymity
Two girls who were 13 and 14 when they murdered a vulnerable alcoholic in her own home are taking legal action to remain anonymous into adulthood.
The teenagers, who posed for Snapchat selfies while putting 39-year-old Angela Wrightson through a five-hour ordeal, received life sentences at Leeds Crown Court in 2016 and were told they must serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars.
The trial judge Mr Justice Globe imposed reporting restrictions preventing the media from identifying the killers, on account of them being under 18 and due to their vulnerability.
Now legal teams for the killers have obtained an interim injunction extending their anonymity, although one of them has turned 18.
The issue will go before the High Court next month, where their legal teams will argue the media's ban on reporting their identities should be extended.
The current interim injunction applies to media reports, and all other internet postings.
Mr Justice Globe halted the first trial at Teesside Crown Court and imposed a ban on reporting the second hearing months later in Leeds after he was alerted to hundreds of social media posts written about the girls while the first set of proceedings were under way, and could potentially be seen by jurors.
He later described them as "a blitz of extreme and disturbing comments posted on Facebook by members of the public".
Miss Wrightson suffered a horrific and prolonged attack at her home in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, in December 2014.
She was hit with a shovel, a TV, a coffee table and a stick studded with screws after she let the girls into her home.
The victim was known locally as Alco Ange, and would let school children drink in her living room.
A subsequent inquiry into the shocking case found care home staff could not lock doors to prevent the older girl from running away and it heard that she had a chaotic family life.
The younger girl had been placed in foster care after her parents complained of being unable to cope.
Both girls were known to drink and take drugs.
Miss Wrightson, who was 5ft 4in and weighed six-and-a-half stone, was found dead in her blood-spattered living room the next morning.
A selfie posted to Snapchat showed the defendants smiling with Miss Wrightson pictured in the background shortly before her death.
After the attack, the girls even boasted to friends about being given a lift home by police, who were unaware of the murder.
They took a photo which they posted online with the message: "Me and (older girl) in the back of the bizzie van again."