BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Stepmother 'laughed' after death
Tracey Wright
Tracey Wright denies manslaughter
A jury has heard that a woman accused of neglecting and killing her six-year-old stepdaughter laughed and joked in a pub shortly after her death.

Lauren Wright, of Welney, Norfolk, was found dead at her home in Norfolk in May last year.

Her stepmother Tracey Wright, 31, and father Craig Wright, 38, both deny manslaughter and wilful neglect.

On Tuesday, neighbour Sylvia Kent told Norwich Crown Court that the couple were drinking in the pub shortly after her death.

Lauren Wright
Lauren Wright
She added: "She (Tracey Wright) came in with a few other people and she was sitting there laughing and joking.

"Craig was subdued. I heard her laughing. I just couldn't believe it."

Mrs Kent said Lauren had seemed happy before the couple started living together.

She added that Lauren "got on very well" with her father.


But she said that Lauren changed when she was with her stepmother. "My impression was that if she said anything she was going to get yelled at because that is all Tracey seemed to do."

Craig Wright's mother, Christine Wright, lived next door to Tracey Wright.

Craig Wright
Craig Wright was "subdued" after Lauren's death
She said that after her son moved in with Tracey Wright, she would regularly pop in to see her grandchild.

But after she started a new job in January 2000, she did not see Lauren as often.

"One day she was wearing a t-shirt and I saw her arms. They were very, very thin - like a stick insect.

"I didn't realise she had lost that much weight."

She added that three or four months before Lauren died, she noticed a bruise on the side of her face. "It was a very big bruise. It covered all her cheek.

'Wardrobe injury'

"They had an Alsatian, a big boisterous dog, and I was told by Tracey that it knocked her (Lauren) over and she banged herself on a table."

Mrs Wright said she also saw a bruise on Lauren the day she died but had been told by Tracey Wright that Lauren had pulled a wardrobe down on her.

In the week before her death, Mrs Wright said Tracey Wright told her that Lauren had gastro-enteritis and she had been to see a doctor.

Mrs Wright said she had no reason to doubt her story but added that Tracey had burst into her house shouting for help on the day Lauren died.

Bruised body

She broke down in tears as she described how she tried to give the child mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The court has heard that Lauren died from a blow to the stomach that caused her digestive system to collapse.

She had 60 bruises on her shoulders, arms, cheek, chest, abdomen, with 19 on her legs and shins caused by kicks or blows with an object.

The trial continues.

See also:

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories