Sunday 25 August 2019

Ana died due to blunt force trauma and suffered 'very horrific death', trial hears

Retired State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy arrives at court. Picture: Collins
Retired State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy arrives at court. Picture: Collins
Ana Kriegel
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

Schoolgirl Ana Kriegel died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and neck and suffered a "very horrific death", a trial heard.

Retired State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the trial of two 14-year-old boys accused of murder that Ana was found dead in a derelict building a few days after she was reported missing.

She was naked and there was evidence she had been violently assaulted in the building where she was found.

The post mortem showed Ana had suffered severe and extensive injuries, which were mostly confined to the head and neck area.

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

She identified more than 50 areas of injury on her head and body.

In cross-examination, Prof Cassidy agreed with Boy B's lawyer that Ana had suffered a "very horrific death".

The two youths, aged 13 at the time, have pleaded not guilty before the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Ana Kriegel (14) at Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road in Lucan, Co Dublin, on May 14, 2018.

Boy A has also denied a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the jury an application had been made to excuse the accused from attending during Prof Cassidy's testimony, and he had agreed to that application.

Prof Cassidy gave evidence she was told Ana had been last seen at 5.30pm on May 14, 2018.

A search had taken place in a local park between May 14 and May 17 and her body had been located at 1pm that day.

Prof Cassidy said she attended the derelict building where Ana's body was found.

The teenager was lying on her back and her arm was grasping a ligature on her neck.

Prof Cassidy said her impression was Ana had received her injuries closer to the door in the room where she had been found, and her body then moved further into the room.

The body was then taken from the scene to allow Prof Cassidy to conduct a post mortem.

Prof Cassidy said Ana suffered a fractured right eye socket, upper jaw and cheek bone. There was a large area of injury on the right side of her face and bruising on the left side of her face.

Prof Cassidy said there were four separate impacts to Ana's head.

She said they could have been caused by a heavy object with a small striking surface, or the corners of a larger object. However, she could not say what had caused these impacts.

She said there was extensive haemorrhaging to the soft tissue at the neck and Ana would have asphyxiated because of compression of the neck structure.

The jury heard there were numerous scratches to Ana's trunk and limbs.

Some may have been caused in a struggle, Prof Cassidy said, and some could have been caused by moving her body across the floor of the room.

In cross-examination, Prof Cassidy agreed with Patrick Gageby SC, for Boy A, there was no pathological evidence of ligature strangulation.

Prof Cassidy also agreed with lawyers for Boy B that Ana had suffered a "very horrific death".

The jury also heard from a guidance counsellor who said Boy B emphasised to her "around 10 times" he was not the last person to see Ana on the day she disappeared.

The counsellor said Boy B told her he felt he had been "dragged into this mess" by Boy A, and he had only been trying to do "a good turn for a mate" by calling to Ana's home.

The counsellor said she knew Boy B was one of the last people to see Ana so she had arranged to speak to him on May 16.

Boy B told her he was "stressed" and "feeling the pressure" of being interviewed by gardaí. She said he called it an "interrogation".

She said Boy B told her he had spoken to gardaí three times, had been brought away in a Garda van and had felt it was an "ordeal".

During their conversation, she said he mentioned "around 10 times" that he was not the last person to see Ana.

He told her he'd walked with Ana to the park but he had then left.

Boy B also offered a theory about what had happened to Ana, suggesting the men who attacked Boy A had got, kidnapped or taken Ana.

The counsellor said Boy B was "articulate, calm and clear".

The counsellor told the court she was "impressed" by Boy B, who seemed a "very bright boy".

She said his speech flowed, he looked her straight in the eye and seemed very calm.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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