Friday 23 August 2019

'Ana will stay in our hearts, forever loved'

Parents' emotion as boys found guilty of murder

Brendan Grehan SC. Picture: Collins
Brendan Grehan SC. Picture: Collins

Eimear Cotter and Conor Feehan

Ana Kriegel's parents paid a moving tribute to their daughter outside the court where two boys were found guilty of her murder.

An emotional Patric Kriegel simply said: "Ana was our strength."

Her mother, Geraldine Kriegel, added: "Ana was a dream come true for us and she always will be. She will stay in our hearts, forever loved and forever cherished.

"We love you Ana."

Her parents spoke shortly after two 14-year-old boys became the youngest convicted murderers in the history of the State.

One of them, known as Boy A, was also found guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

Ana's body, naked apart from a pair of black socks, was found by gardaí in a derelict farmhouse, Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road, in Lucan, Dublin, at 1pm on May 17, 2018. The 14-year-old had been reported missing by her parents three days earlier.

The boys, who were just 13 years old at the time, had denied the offences.

After deliberating for 14 hours and 25 minutes, jurors came back at 2.11pm and delivered the verdicts, first for Boy A and then for Boy B.

There was heavy emotion in the courtroom as the verdicts were returned. Boy A's family were first back into the court when it was heard a verdict had been reached.

Sitting at the back of the court with his mother to his left and his father to his right, his mother took a tissue from a packet and pushed it delicately into her son's shirt pocket.

As they came back into the court Boy B sat between his parents. His mother sat to his right, and his father to his left. Boy B linked his mother's arm.

Both boys held their parents' hands as they waited.

Boy A's mother cried freely with a tissue to her face as the guilty verdicts for her son were announced.

They all then embraced each other before Boy A left with his father, mother and legal team.

When the verdict of murder was read out for Boy B, he momentarily let go of his parents and brought his hands up to his mouth with a look of disbelief on his face. His father looked into the middle distance and said quietly "Guilty", as if to question was it true.

Then Boy B's father held his son's hand to his mouth and kissed it.

Moments later he grew angry and started muttering and abruptly left the court for five minutes, coming back then and holding his son's hands.

When the judge had finished, Boy B's father began to verbally abuse the gardaí. "You bunch of scumbags, you f***ing p****s. Innocent boy," he was heard to say.

As Boy B was led to the holding cell his father clapped loudly four times slowly.

The Kriegel family sat quiet and composed. Geraldine, who had her eyes closed prior to the verdict, cried quietly, as did Patric.

The Kriegels looked up at the jury as they filled out, nodding in acknowledgment to them.

Then the Kriegels huddled with their friends, crying with dignity and relief.

They hugged gardaí as they left the court. They were then led to an upstairs room by victim support services.

Prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC said that places were available for the two boys at Oberstown Detention Centre. Mr Justice Paul McDermott remanded both boys in custody, and adjourned sentencing to July 15.

The judge also ordered probation and psychiatrists reports for both defendants, as well as school reports and any other available reports, saying that he was "seeking professional assistance" in relation to this very difficult case.

The judge said that the boys' parents may also wish to give evidence prior to sentencing.

Judge McDermott expressed his sincere gratitude and his deep appreciation to the jurors, and excused them from serving on a jury in the future.

He also offered his condolences to the Kriegel family.

Judge McDermott reiterated the boys cannot be named and are entitled to anonymity, because they are children.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News