Belfast Telegraph

Jury in Ana Kriegel murder trial retires to consider verdicts

Justice Paul McDermott told the jury of eight men and four women, that it was ‘an unusual case’.

Anastasia Kriegel who was found dead in a derelict farmhouse outside the village of Lucan, Co Dublin, on May 16 (family/PA)
Anastasia Kriegel who was found dead in a derelict farmhouse outside the village of Lucan, Co Dublin, on May 16 (family/PA)

The jury in the trial of two boys accused of the murder Ana Kriegel has retired to consider its verdicts.

Justice Paul McDermott told the jury of eight men and four women, that it was “an unusual case”.

“A case in which two juveniles are accused of the murder of Ana Kriegel, who was 14 herself, and the circumstances of which are clearly of a disquieting nature,” he said.

“Those circumstances which are obviously upsetting have to be examined forensically.”

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Former state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy gave evidence at the trial (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ana’s naked body was found with a ligature around the neck in a derelict house in Lucan, Co Dublin, days after she went missing in May last year.

Former state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy identified around 50 areas of injury on the schoolgirl’s head and body, and concluded the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

Ms Cassidy also said that there was evidence of penetration or attempted penetration of the vagina.

Two 14-year-old boys, who cannot be identified due to their age, are standing trial accused of murder.

Boy A has pleaded not guilty to murder and sexual assault “involving serious violence”.

Boy B has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Justice McDermott gave a lengthy rundown of the evidence heard in the trial, including summaries of witnesses, the boys’ interviews and experts in forensic science.

Ana had been first reported missing on Monday May 14 by her mother and father.

She was last seen by members of her family when she left her home with Boy B, who told gardai he had been asked by Boy A to call for Ana.

The prosecution alleges Boy B aided and abetted in Ana’s murder by helping Boy A.

Justice McDermott told the jury that it is accepted Boy B told a series of lies to gardai about his whereabouts before finally telling interviewers he was at the farmhouse with Ana and Boy A, but ran away when he realised his friend was raping the schoolgirl, and said he was not involved in the attack.

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Ana Kriegel’s parents, Geraldine and Patric Kriegel arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin as the trial of two boys accused of Ana Kriegel’s murder continues (Brian Lawless/PA)

Later that evening witnesses claimed they saw Boy A limping with blood on his face and clothing shortly after 5.30pm on the day Ana went missing.

Boy A claimed to friends and his parents that he was attacked by two men.

He later repeated these claims to gardai and also made a statement.

The State prosecutor told the court that these injuries were actually caused by a struggle with Ana in which he “sexually assaulted” her.

John Hoade of Forensic Science Ireland told the court that DNA found on a backpack, mask, gloves and knee pads seized from Boy A’s home matched that of Ana.

Defence counsel for Boy A told the court there was not “one bit of evidence from the witness box” to suggest the accused planned to kill Ana.

There is no forensic evidence linking Boy B to the scene.

Mr McDermott asked the jury to: “Take into consideration how a child or young boys will react, what situation they will feel themselves to be in, in such interviews, give such weight of the submissions that are made, that you think are appropriate.

“The demeanour of the two boys in the course of the interviews, you will have your own view on how people react in different ways perhaps to that kind of experience.

“It’s a very unusual experience for children that age, being in that situation, you’ve seen the interviews, you make your own decision in relation to what you see and what you hear.”

The jury was told it could only return verdicts of guilty or not guilty to each charge, and each charge should be considered separately.

He added that both boys had no previous dealings with gardai and came from hardworking families.

The jury retired to consider its verdicts on the three charges at 12:35 on Wednesday.

The trial began in April.

PA

From Belfast Telegraph