Saturday 24 August 2019

Ana Kriegel murder trial: Boy B told counsellor he felt he had been 'dragged into this mess' by Boy A

Ana Kriegel
Ana Kriegel
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A BOY accused of murdering Ana Kriegel emphasised to a counsellor "around 10 times" that he was not the last person to see her on the day she disappeared, a trial heard.

The counsellor gave evidence that 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 gave evidence to the Central Criminal Court that Boy B also told her he felt interrogated by gardai.

She said Boy B had spoken to gardai three times, had been brought away in a garda van and had felt it was an "ordeal".

Boy B also offered a theory to the counsellor about what had happened to Ana, saying that perhaps the men who had attacked Boy A had "got, taken or kidnapped" her.

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 on May 14 last year.

One of the boys, Boy A, has also denied a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

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 gardai. She said he called it an "interrogation".

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

Bereaved parents: Geraldine and Patric Kriegel leave court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Bereaved parents: Geraldine and Patric Kriegel leave court yesterday. Photo: Collins

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 what had happened to Ana, saying that perhaps the men who attacked Boy A had got, kidnapped or taken Ana.

The counsellor said 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 he seemed very calm.

Earlier, a garda technical expert said he believed that Ana had suffered a "violent assault".

Detective Garda Seamus O'Donnell, from the Garda Technical Bureau, told the Central Criminal Court that this belief was based on the amount of blood visible at the scene where Ana's body was found.

He agreed with prosecutor Brendan Grehan SC that other signs of violence were the broken false nails, the ripped clothing and the bloody half concrete block, all of which were found at the scene.

Gda O'Donnell gave evidence that he took wet and dry swabs of blood staining in a number of areas in the room where Ana was found.

He said he believed Ana was assaulted near the area of heaviest blood staining and moved or was moved to a location at the far wall of the room.

The trial also heard from retired State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy who said Ana Kriegel died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

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

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

Cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, Prof Cassidy said.

In cross examination, Prof Cassidy agreed that Ana had suffered a "very horrific death".

Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the jury that 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 that 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 that clothing located beside the body matched the description of what Ana was last seen wearing.

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

She was escorted by members from the Garda Technical Bureau through the back of the building.

There was graffiti on the walls, rubble on the ground, the windows were boarded up and in some of the rooms the roof had collapsed.

Prof Cassidy said she was shown clothing and footwear on the ground, and noted blood stains and blood splatter on the walls.

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

Prof Cassidy said her impression was that the teenager 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 conduct a post-mortem, which was completed on the evening of May 17.

Prof Cassidy said Ana suffered a fractured right eye socket, upper jaw and cheek bone.

Her lips were swollen, and there was a large area of injury on the right side of her face.

There was also a large area of bruising on the left side of her face.

Prof Cassidy said there were four lacerations to the right side at the back of the scalp and there was dark red bruising and a broad area of injury on her neck.

Prof Cassidy also noted grazes or abrasions on Ana's left shoulder and collarbone as well as purple bruising on her right shoulder and linear scratches to the side of her trunk.

Prof Cassidy said samples were taken from the main organs in Ana's body and later examined and she was "extremely healthy".

There was no alcohol or drugs in her system.

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 she would have asphyxiated due to compression of the neck structure

The jury heard that 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, that 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 trial continues before Mr Justice McDermott and a jury of eight men and four women.

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