A WOMAN was still alive and conscious when a vicious attack on her in her own home finally ended, a defence barrister has claimed.

The claim came during the questioning of a forensic scientist who inspected the home where Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson was found dead.

Two girls, aged just 14 and 13 at the time of her death in December, 2014, both deny murdering Ms Wrightson.

She had suffered more than 100 injuries and appeared to have been beaten with a TV set, coffee table and a stick studded with screws.

Jamie Hill, QC, defending the older girl, now aged 15, was questioning forensic scientist, Dr Gemma Escott, who made an expert examination of Ms Wrightson’s home on Stephen Street when the body was still left on a red, living room sofa.

Mr Hill told Leeds Crown Court: “It is her case that when (my client) left at 11.04pm Angela Wrightson was still conscious. It is her case that when she went back at 2am, Angela Wrightson was still conscious and she was not attacked again.”

He said that there was no intention at all to kill and went on to suggest to Dr Escott that there was evidence that Ms Wrightson had gone for a cigarette in her kitchen and gone to the bathroom following the violence before 11pm and the girls’ return at 2am.

Evidence included blood-stained clothing belonging to Ms Wrightson in a laundry basket.

However,l Dr Escott said she found it “difficult to envisage” Ms Wrightson leaving the leaving room after sustaining her head injuries.

“There’s nothing to suggest that Angela Wrightson left that living room with those head injuries," she said. "There’s an absence of (blood) drips both at the scene and down her body. And there’s an absence of more extensive smearing in the passageway to the kitchen and bathroom.”

Dr Escott said there was nothing to indicate a T-shirt with spots of blood in the laundry basket had anything to do with the alleged murder, but accepted a full search of the laundry basket was not carried out.

Previously the jury has been told there was an attempt to start a fire near the body using pages from a diary. Scorch marks were found on Ms Wrightson’s clothes and ash was found in her ear.

However, Dr Escott described the attempted to start a fire as “rudimentary” and “basic.”

The court has also heard that Ms Wrightson had high levels of alcohol in her blood when she died which could have contributed to death.

The older girl has admitted manslaughter though both deny murder.

The trial continues.