Saturday 24 August 2019

Ana Kriegel murder trial: Professor Marie Cassidy agrees teenager suffered a 'very horrific death'

Retired State Pathologist gave evidence of blunt force trauma to Ana's head and neck

Retired State Pathologist Marie Cassidy. Photo: Collins
Retired State Pathologist Marie Cassidy. Photo: Collins
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

SCHOOLGIRL Ana Kriegel died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and neck, a trial has heard.

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

Prof Cassidy said 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".

The two youths, aged 13 at the time, have pleaded not guilty before the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Ana (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.

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 told the court that she conducted a post-mortem on Ana's body on May 17, 2018.

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, with her right leg extended. 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.

Prof Cassidy agreed with prosecutor Brendan Grehan SC that Ana's body was "quite dirty" and was washed to allow further examination.

She 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.

The pathologist conducted an internal examination and found there was "extensive and widespread" haemorrhaging to the neck.

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, nor was there any evidence she had been sexually active.

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

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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