Two teenage murderers have launched a bid to keep their names secret into adulthood – three years after a regional daily’s readers called for them to be named.
HTFP reported in April 2016 how a Hartlepool Mail survey had revealed 89pc of readers wanted restrictions barring the newspaper from naming the killers of Angela Wrightson lifted after they received life sentences.
The killers were both 15 at the time of their conviction, and had been aged 13 and 14 when they carried out the attack on their 39-year-old victim.
Now lawyers for the pair, who subjected vulnerable alcoholic Ms Wrightson to a five-hour ordeal, have obtained an interim injunction extending their anonymity, even though one of them has already 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.
News of the fresh anonymity bid provided a splash for the Mail on Wednesday, pictured above.
Despite various media organisations asking for an order preventing the killers’ identification to be lifted in 2016, Sir Henry Globe QC said the welfare of the two girls was at risk.
Explaining his reasoning at the time, 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 at the sentencing hearing, 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.”