Almost nine out of 10 of a regional daily’s readers have called for the teenage killers of Angela Wrightson to be named in a poll conducted by the newspaper.
Despite various media organisations asking for an order preventing their identification to be lifted, Sir Henry Globe QC said the welfare of the two girls was at risk.
But the results of the Mail’s survey, which was published on Friday’s front page, below, found 89pc of respondents were in favour of the pair being named.
Explaining his reasoning at Thursday’s sentencing, Mr Justice Globe told the court: “They (defence barristers) emphasise the fact that each defendant poses a risk of self-harm. In one case, it is a real and present danger. Removing anonymity is likely to exacerbate what is already a dangerous situation.”
The judge said the older girl had tried to kill herself on a number of occasions.
Addressing her, he said: “There have now been four attempts, two at this court, where I am satisfied you have made real efforts to commit suicide during the course of the trial. The most recent one was here at court in the midst of my summing-up late on Monday afternoon.
“Those looking after you are on high alert to look after your safety. I am prepared to take notice of your current state of health as a mitigating feature. It is also highly influential in my decision as to anonymity.”
As reported on HTFP, the BBC revealed how a group of media organisations fought for the right to cover the case of two girls convicted this week of murdering a vulnerable woman in her own home – after an earlier trial collapsed due to prejudicial comments on social media.
Mr Justice Globe said it was because of what he called “an avalanche of prejudicial comments” that had been posted on Facebook pages, including those of a number of media organisations.
Joy Yates, editorial director for Johnston Press North East, said: “Our splash on Friday was in response to a strength of feeling from our audience which led us to conduct a poll in which 89pc of our readers say the teenagers should be identified.
“Our front page story the following day reflected the poll outcome with a victims’ support group hitting out at taxpayers’ money being spent to employ a barrister to argue against naming the teenage killers.”