Thursday 14 November 2019

Court hears earliest possible release dates for Ana Kriegel killers

Ana Kriegel (Family Handout/PA)
Ana Kriegel (Family Handout/PA)
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

ANA Kriegel's teenage killers' earliest possible dates of release from their sentences will be in 2027 and 2031, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said progress reports on the boys' development and rehabilitation while in custody should be prepared every two years until their sentences come up for review.

He said the reports were not intended to "micro-manage" the boys' sentences, but to give the court a clear view of what has happened in the course of their detention.

The boys were earlier this week handed down separate sentences of life and 15 years for the schoolgirl’s murder.

Boy A and Boy B who are now 15 years old, were found guilty in June of murdering of Ana Kriegel at an abandoned farmhouse in Lucan on May 14, 2018.

The boys, who were just 13 at the time of the murder, had denied the offences.

Ana Kriegel
Ana Kriegel

Ana's body, naked apart from a pair of black socks, was found by gardai in a derelict farmhouse, Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road, in Lucan at 1pm on May 17, 2018.

The 14-year-old had been reported missing by her parents Patric and Geraldine Kriegel three days earlier.

Boy A was give a life sentence, with a review after 12 years for murder. Judge McDermott also imposed a fixed sentence of eight years on Boy A for aggravated sexual assault.

Boy B was given a 15 year sentence, with a review after eight years, with Judge McDermott saying the two cases were significantly different.

The sentences were backdated to the date in June when the teenagers were convicted of Ana's murder.

When the case came before the court again this morning, Judge McDermott first clarified that the review of Boy B's case would begin on January 19, 2026.

Patric and Geraldine Kriegel, parents of Ana. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Patric and Geraldine Kriegel, parents of Ana. Photo: Gerry Mooney

He then said he wanted the court to be fully informed on both boys' progress and development in custody. It was not intended as micro-management of the sentences, he said, and it was not to be viewed as such.

The first phase brought them until they were 18, and they would be transferred to an adult facility when they were 18 and six months old.

Reports on their engagement with educational, psychological and psychiatric services would be of assistance to those taking over their custody, he said. There should also be a plan for their further development while in prison.

Reports should then be prepared at two year intervals, chronicling what has happened, which would be available to the courts at review.

After the boys' transfer to adult prisons in 2022, reports should be submitted in 2024 and 2026 and 2028, he said.

"They are not reports for the purpose of micro-managing the sentences, it is for the courts to have a very clear view of what's happened during the course of their detention," he said.

Prosecutor Brendan Grehan SC said in Boy A's case, his sentence would be reviewed effectively on the 12th anniversary of the date of conviction.

The review process would begin in January 2029 and the earliest he could expect to be released from "the custodial portion" was June 18, 2031, he said.

Boy B's review would begin on January 19, 2026 and the earliest he could expect to be released was June 18, 2027, Mr Grehan said.

Judge McDermott said that was the intention of the court.

When he sentenced the boys on Tuesday, Judge McDermott had said any sentence must be proportionate and take into account the gravity of the crimes and the circumstances and age of the offenders. How both boys face up to their culpability while in custody would be a factor in determining how long they will eventually end up being detained, he said.

In relation to Boy A, he said the assault on Ana was vicious and "prolonged, callous and brutal".

Aggravating factors included Boy A's not guilty plea, his limited appreciation of the enormity of what he had done, and the fact he did not accept there had been any planning or preparation.

Apart from Boy A's age, the judge said it was hard to see many mitigating factors.

In relation to Boy B, the judge said there was no forensic evidence against this accused, nor was there ever any suggestion that he had assaulted Ana.

Judge McDermott said the boys will both have to carry the guilt and shame of their involvement in Ana's death for the rest of their lives.

Speaking after Tuesday’s sentencing, Ana’s parents said “justice has been served for Ana” but that, for them, “forever is not long enough”.

At a hearing last week, the court was told that Boy A now accepted he caused Ana's death but he still denied sexually assaulting her.

Boy B continued to maintain his innocence, the court heard, with his lawyer Damien Colgan SC saying his client did not accept the verdict of the jury.

In a victim impact statement, Ana's mother Geraldine said her daughter was "the love of our lives" and the "most "wonderful child in the world".

She also said that Ana was" wild and wonderful, electric, so full of fun, madness and laughter".

Judge McDermott said Ana's short life should not be defined by the crimes against her, as her life was greater than that.

He said she was a "lovely and loving child", who came from a loving family.

Her family was bereft at her loss, and the consequences of her death were "traumatic, devastating and lifelong".

He said Boy A and Boy B bore responsibility for Ana's death.

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