Sunday 8 December 2019

Boy B appeals his conviction for murder of schoolgirl Ana

Ana Kriegel
Ana Kriegel
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

One of the two 15-year-old boys found guilty of the murder of teenager Ana Kriegel has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Lawyers for the teenager, known as Boy B, have filed papers with the Court of Appeal.

He was sentenced to 15 years’ detention last month by Mr Justice Paul McDermott at the Central Criminal Court. The teenager and his co-­accused, known as Boy A, were the youngest convicted murderers in the history of the State.

A jury unanimously found them guilty of the murder of 14-year-old Ana at a derelict farmhouse in Lucan, west Dublin, in May 2018.

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Neither killer can be named due to their young age and they will enjoy life-long anonymity.

The lodging of the appeal was expected because Boy B had not accepted the guilty verdict unanimously reached by a jury following a seven-week trial. His counsel, Damien Colgan, asked the judge to extend legal aid for an appeal.

The notice of appeal in respect of Boy B was filed on November 26, the Courts Service confirmed last night. The grounds he will rely on have not yet been disclosed.

At a sentencing hearing in October, Mr Colgan said it was clear from reports handed in to the court that his client did not accept the verdict.

In contrast, Boy A made a number of admissions in custody after he was found guilty and it does not appear he will be lodging any appeal.

He was also convicted of aggravated sexual assault, for which he received a concurrent 12-year sentence.

Both boys are currently being detained at Oberstown Children Detention Campus in Dublin and will remain there until the age of 18, at which point they will transfer to an adult prison.

It is unclear how soon the appeal will be heard, but it could happen as early as next year.

On average, it takes 20 weeks for a criminal case to go to hearing in the Court of Appeal once it gets a listing.

While forensic evidence indicated Boy A sexually and physically assaulted Ana, there was no such evidence against Boy B.

The court heard his role in the murder was to lure Ana to the disused farmhouse.

Mr Justice McDermott noted there was no evidence that Boy B engaged in the assault on Ana and this was reflected in his shorter sentence.

But the judge also said that in the immediate aftermath of the attack, Boy B left the scene and did not take any steps to assist Ana or seek any help.

Mr Justice McDermott said that notwithstanding their age, both boys were responsible for Ana's death and must accept the consequences.

The judge said there was nothing to suggest either of the boys suffered from a mental disorder and no issues were raised as to their competence to stand trial.

He described Boy B as a very intelligent boy, who had enjoyed a normal upbringing, and whose parents were hard-working and law-abiding.

The judge said Boy B's parents placed a high value on education.

If his appeal is unsuccessful, Boy B will be at least 23 years old before he is due for release.

It was the State's case that Boy B lured Ana to the derelict farmhouse not far from where she lived with her parents Patric and Geraldine.

Boy A was waiting there and attacked and sexually assaulted her.

Her naked body was found three days later.

At the sentencing hearing, Mr Justice McDermott noted there was evidence Boy A told Boy B weeks before the attack that he intended to kill Ana.

The judge said the jury was satisfied of Boy B's involvement in planning the brutal crime.

The court heard he tricked her into believing Boy A was interested in her and that she trusted what he was saying when she accompanied him to the farmhouse.

Irish Independent

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