Friday 20 September 2019

Ana Kriegel murder trial: 'I said nothing to upset Ana, except for declining her' - boy told garda

One of youths claims he was assaulted by two older males as he left park, court hears

Two boys who cannot be named because of their age deny murdering Ana (handout/PA)
Two boys who cannot be named because of their age deny murdering Ana (handout/PA)
Garda have been giving evidence to the murder trial in Dublin (handout/PA)
Bereaved parents: Geraldine and Patric Kriegel leave court yesterday. Photo: Collins
Ana Kriegel
Ana Kriegel
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A boy accused of killing and sexually assaulting Ana Kriegel told a detective investigating her disappearance that he was "surprised" when Ana asked him out, as it "came out of nowhere".

The jury in the trial of two 14-year-olds accused of murdering Ana has also been shown CCTV footage gardaí claim is the last movements of the schoolgirl.

Garda Seamus Timmins claimed the CCTV showed Ana, wearing black leggings and a black jacket with distinctive white markings on the sleeve, in the company of Boy B.

Gda Timmins also showed the jury CCTV of a boy in dark clothing and wearing gloves. He claimed this was Boy A.

Ana's parents Patrick and Geraldine at the Central Criminal Court
Ana's parents Patrick and Geraldine at the Central Criminal Court

Earlier, Sergeant John O'Keeffe gave evidence that Boy A told him he had tried to turn Ana down without hurting her feelings.

Sgt O'Keeffe was investigating the disappearance of Ana when he took a witness statement from the boy, which was read into evidence yesterday.

The Central Criminal Court heard Boy A told gardaí that "one of his best friends" was Boy B.

On May 14, 2018 he said he had walked home with Boy B.

Murder victim Ana Kriegel
Murder victim Ana Kriegel

At home he'd gotten changed, had a cup of tea and then called over to Boy B's house. Boy B was doing chores so Boy A arranged to meet him in the park when he was finished.

Boy A said he got to the park and Boy B arrived about a minute later. Ana had been with him. He didn't know her that well, he said, and this was the first time he'd been in the park with her.

They'd been walking slowly, and he vaguely remembered talking to his friend about video games.

Boy A said he wasn't really talking to Ana, as she'd been on her phone, but not talking on it.

Boy A said Ana then asked him out.

He told Sgt O'Keeffe: "At one stage Ana said to me, 'I have something to ask you. I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me'."

Boy A said he was "surprised" as it "came out of nowhere".However, he had an idea Ana liked him because she'd asked him out previously.

He told Sgt O'Keeffe that he decided to think about it for a few minutes.

Boy A knew he was going to say no and turn her down, but he wanted to do it without hurting Ana's feelings.

The last time Ana had asked him out, she'd "stormed" off when he'd turned her down.

This time he was trying to be "more considerate", he told the sergeant.

Boy A said he told Ana he was sorry, but he wasn't interested in her.

He claimed she didn't answer and she said nothing.

Boy A told the sergeant Ana stayed for a few minutes and walked off.

"I could tell she wasn't happy. She looked annoyed and sad at the same time."

Boy A said Boy B was a little ahead of them. He might have heard the conversation but he couldn't be sure.

When Ana "stormed off", Boy A said he and Boy B kept walking on the way. He turned to Boy B, said to him "that was a bit random", and his friend agreed.

Boy A said his friend then left the park.

He told Sgt O'Keeffe: "I said nothing to Ana to upset her except for declining her."

He also said Boy B was not upset either.

The jury then heard that Boy A told gardaí he was also leaving the park when he became aware of two males walking behind him.

Boy A claimed they grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him to the ground, before they started to kick him.

"I was winded from one of the kicks in the chest. I managed to get up and I kicked one of them in the head and they ran off," he said.

Boy A described the first assailant as being "stocky" and "like a rugby player".

"He was maybe 19 or 20. He had dark coloured hair. He may have had his ear pierced, which one I don't know.

"I can't describe his face, roundish head. It was blurry for me. He had a fringe across his forehead," Boy A said in his statement.

The youth described his second attacker as "tall and skinny" and "had a long face, a long nose and a ronnie".

Boy A said he looked about the same age as the other lad. He said neither was wearing gloves and both were wearing baggy tracksuit bottoms.

Boy A said he left the park, walking slowly, because his leg was hurting.

He told Sgt O'Keeffe that he went home and told his parents what had happened.

Boy A said his back was bruised, his legs were sore around his knees and he had a cut on his left leg. His right leg was painful and he had small bruising on his chest. His lip was also bleeding.

Boy A also told gardaí nothing had been stolen from him, nor did the men demand anything from him.

In cross-examination by Patrick Gageby SC, for Boy A, Sgt O'Keeffe said it's "not unimaginable" the two accused would remember different things, as they were only 13 at the time.

Read More: Ana Kriegel murder trial: 'She gave me a big smile' - father tells how she left family home with one of accused

Sgt O'Keeffe told Boy A and his father there were inconsistencies in the boys' accounts, but Boy A did not make any changes to his statement.

The youths, aged 13 at the time, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ana (14) at Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road in Lucan, Dublin, on May 14 last year.

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

Ana's naked body was found by gardaí at the disused farmhouse three days after she was reported missing. She was last seen leaving her home with Boy B at 5pm on the day she disappeared.

It is the prosecution's case that Boy B "lured" Ana to the derelict farmhouse and then watched "voyeuristically" as the other boy sexually assaulted and murdered her.

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

Irish Independent

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