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Girl accused of murder 'tried to commit suicide three times last week'

Girl accused of murder 'tried to commit suicide three times last week'

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 in the UK has been told.

The 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been giving evidence in the trial at Leeds Crown Court since Tuesday.

The girl and her friend are accused of murdering alcoholic Angela Wrightson in her home in Hartlepool, County Durham, in December 2014.

Mr Justice Globe told the jury of eight women and four men that 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 giving evidence.

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 all right 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 to the court via video link from a separate room.

Mr Justice Globe said he wanted to give the jury a "detailed explanation" about why they might think he was being "over cautious" in relation to the girl giving evidence.

He said: "I have been saying to you it is necessary for (the girl) to concentrate. There have been times when she has become upset and that has been totally accurate what I have been saying to you, but it is not the full picture. I think it's only right you have the full picture."

He told the jury they must continue to keep an open mind and added: "You must remain fair and objective at all times in relation to all of the evidence."

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

She earlier told the jury she assaulted the woman after her friend told her to "knock her out".

The second 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 and both deny murder.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.