Monday 23 September 2019

Boy B said he 'freaked out' and ran away, court is told

Ana Kriegel (Family handout/PA)
Ana Kriegel (Family handout/PA)
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

"What do you think about the whole Ana thing?" a friend of Boy B's told a court Boy B asked him about a month after the schoolgirl's body was found. Boy B then told his friend he had something to tell him, and asked him not to tell anyone else.

The friend was giving evidence via videolink in the trial of two boys accused of murdering Ana Kriegel.

He said Boy B told him he, Boy A and Ana had been in the park on the evening she went missing and they had gone to explore the abandoned house.

The youth said Boy B told him he saw Boy A and Ana get into a "semi-physical" argument, which got "more and more violent".

He said Boy B told him that Boy A then got Ana into a headlock and tried to get her onto the ground.

The teen said Boy B told him Ana was fighting back and trying to push him [Boy A] off her. She was also trying to kick and punch Boy A in the arm and leg.

The friend said Boy B told him he'd "freaked out" and run away.

In cross examination, the friend said Boy B had told him earlier that same day he believed Boy A was "trying to snake him" and was going behind his back and "building a case against him".

The friend said Boy B told him he thought Boy A was trying to set him up because he'd "made him call for Ana".

He accepted he had not told gardai about this conversation with Boy B until November 2018, after he discussed the matter with his parents. The friend also said he'd kind of forgotten about it.

Boy B and his co-accused, Boy A, have pleaded not guilty before the Central Criminal Court to murdering 14-year-old Ana Kriegel at Glenwood House in Lucan on May 14, 2018. They were 13 years old at the time and cannot be identified because they are children.

Boy A also denies a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

The jury has now finished watching 16 hours of interviews which gardai conducted with Boy B, first on May 24 and May 25 and then on July 7, after Boy B was re-arrested.

In the interview room were Boy B, his mother, his solicitor, Detective Garda Donal Daly and Inspector Damien Gannon.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott has told the jury a number of times to bear in mind anything that Boy B said in his interviews with gardai about Boy A could not be used in the prosecution case against Boy A.

In the seventh interview, Boy B told gardai he "had to run" when he realised Boy A was "raping" Ana. He said Ana was crying and begging Boy A to stop, while Boy A had a "blank face" and was showing no emotion.

Gda Daly showed Boy B a picture of a mask.

Boy B said he called it the "zombie mask" because that's what Boy A called it.

Boy B initially said Boy A wasn't wearing the mask but he later told Gda Daly: "Yes, he was wearing the mask" during the "whole incident".

During the final interview, Boy B told Gda Daly he didn't know what Boy A was planning when he asked him to get Ana.

He said he brought Ana to the house because he thought Boy A was going to talk to her about having a crush on him. He said he thought it was a "friendly request".

Gda Daly asked Boy B to "tell me the truth".

Boy B told gardai Boy A asked him to call for Ana, citing "relationship issues". They went to the park, and Boy B said he went into the house first, leaving Ana and Boy A outside. He went through the rooms and when he came out, Ana and Boy A were talking.

Boy B said Boy A and Ana then walked inside the house. He was told to leave by Boy A, but he didn't want to go.

He then heard "shuffling" and he went and stood at the door of the room Boy A and Ana had gone into. Boy B said Boy A started stripping Ana and once he [Boy A] got to her bra he looked up at Boy B and that's when he ran.

Asked why he did not go for help when he realised what was happening, Boy B said he was "scared" and "shocked".

"My brain was frozen, frozen in place. I didn't know what to do," he said.

Gda Daly put it to Boy B that he could have saved Ana. "I know," he said.

Asked why he did not try and save her, Boy B responded: "I don't know." Boy B said that when he looked back now he realised he should have helped Ana. He said gardai did not know how many times his dad had told him that.

Gda Daly said he believed Boy B was "part of the murder" and he put it to him that he brought Ana to the abandoned house.

"You brought the prize. You brought her. You lured her to her death, didn't you?" Gda Daly said.

"No," replied Boy B.

"Can you see why I believe you were involved in the murder of Ana?" Gda Daly asked.

"Yes," said Boy B.

"You're not saying anything to change my mind," Gda Daly added.

"I told you the truth," Boy B said.

"You've told us lie after lie after lie," Gda Daly added.

"As I said before, I told you the truth," Boy B repeated.

Gda Daly told Boy B he had ample opportunity to tell gardai what had happened yet he let "this charade play out in the park and people were out searching when you knew Ana was dead".

"I didn't think [Boy A] would murder her. I didn't want to think that," Boy B said, adding he kept thinking it could not be real and Boy A wouldn't do that because "it's not like him".

A number of juvenile witnesses also gave evidence last week.

One of them told the court he'd spoken to Boy A on one of the days after Ana went missing. The teenager said Boy A told him that he, Boy B and Ana had been in the park on the evening she disappeared.

He said Boy A told him Boy B had left, and it was just him and Ana in the park. Boy A had then left Ana, and a short time later he'd gotten jumped and beaten up by two "20 year olds".

Asked to describe Boy A's appearance, the teen said Boy A appeared "a bit agitated" and "more aware and fidgety".

Asked how Boy B appeared, the youth said he was "calm and collected" like he always was.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

Sunday Independent

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