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'She was just a little girl with so many hopes and dreams': What Ana Kriegel meant to her loved ones

Sentencing her killers today, Mr Justice Paul McDermott stressed that Ana’s short life should not be defined by the crimes committed against her.

MY HOPES FOR the future – I hoped I would get into secondary school, and I did, that is one goal down. My second hope is to go to Paris University, like my dad, the hardest one to get into and when I come home from Paris I would like to get a dog. I would like to get married too, not sure I want any babies, well, not yet anyway.

I hope that I have a good life. I hope everyone I meet will be nice.

Those are the words of Ana Kriegel when, at the start of secondary school, she was asked to write a paragraph on her hopes for the future.

Her goals are similar to what most other children her age would want – to go to school, to get a dog, to get married one day.

file-photo-sentencing-hearing-for-ana-kriegel-case-begins-today-end Ana Kriegel Family photo / Family photo / /

Ana was just 14 years old when she was brutally beaten to death and sexually assaulted in Dublin in May 2018.

Two teenage boys were today sentenced for their roles in the her killing.

Boy A was sentenced to a term of life on the first count of murder and will serve an initial 12 years, followed by a review. The sentence may be extended after the first 12 years served.

Boy A was also convicted of aggravated sexual assault. A term of 12 years was also imposed for that count today, to be served concurrently.

Boy B is to serve a term of 15 years, with the sentence to be reviewed after eight years, the judge said.

Both boys, known as Boy A and Boy B because their real identities cannot be disclosed, were 13 years of age when they murdered Ana in an abandoned house in Lucan on 14 May 2018.

The two boys, now aged 15, were convicted of murder by unanimous jury verdicts earlier this year. Boy A was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said: “The two boys bear responsibility for her murder and must be accountable and accept the consequences of their crimes,” noted the judge, adding that this was a murder of the “most serious, disturbing and shocking type” because of the extreme violence used.

He also stressed that Ana’s life was and is of “supreme importance” and her short life should not be defined by the crimes committed against her.

The judge turned to the boys as he told them: “Both of you will be required to serve lengthy periods of detention but you will have the opportunity to return to your families, your community, return to society, when you are relatively young men. When that will be is not yet determined but much depends on your behaviour and attitude over the coming years.”

Mr Justice McDermott added that the boys will carry the shame of their involvement in Ana’s death for the rest of their lives, while Ana’s family must “bear their grief for the rest of their lives”.

He told them they will have an opportunity to reconstruct their lives in a positive way and asked them: “How will you take it? You have the opportunity for a future, a second chance, something you so wrongfully and cruelly denied to Ana Kriegel.”

‘Wild and wonderful, so full of fun’ 

Throughout a murder trial, much of the focus is understandably on the crime itself and the suspects.

In the opportunities they have had to publicly honour and remember their daughter, Geraldine and Patric Kriegel have shared information about the type of person Ana was – fun and loving.

ipanews_e9ae6d4a-6b76-448c-9484-00b73dd32572_1 Ana Kriegel on her 14th birthday in February 2018. Family photo / Prime Time Family photo / Prime Time / Prime Time

Geraldine, delivering a victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing last week, said of her daughter: 

She was wild and wonderful, electric, so full of fun, madness and laughter. We could not believe the happiness and joy we had found in our lives. She was the love of our lives and every single night before she went to bed, she told us that she loved us too. Every night she came to kiss us and she said, always in French: Bonne nuit, dors bien, fais de beaux reves, je t’aime – Good night, sleep tight, have beautiful dreams, I love you. She cannot do that anymore and we cannot tell you how badly it hurts.

Geraldine continued: “The whole family and friends suffer so terribly, every day and every night, with the agony of knowing now, in the most explicit detail, what Ana was subjected to and knowing that her private life along with the distorted misrepresentation of her by a twisted mind with tainted eyes, have been displayed on every TV station and newspaper in Ireland and across the world.

“She was just a little girl with so many hopes and dreams and so much love inside her that she shared generously with all who knew her.

“Her dream was to build a hotel called ‘The AnaLove Hotel’. She drew detailed floor plans and we, her parents, would have a special cottage on the land where we could spend holidays and be near her. Her plans, our future, shattered.”

‘There are no words’ 

As reported by Prime Time last week, Ana celebrated two special days every year – her birthday on 18 February, and 10 August – the day she was adopted from Siberia in eastern Russia at the age of two and a half.

In her victim impact statement, Geraldine noted that Ana was due to meet her two younger sisters for the first time this year, but she never got the chance. 

Geraldine said that when Ana’s birth family found out what happened to her, “they cried and cried”.

She continued: “They will never feel her warm hugs and loving kisses or see her dance so elegantly or hear her infectious laughter and we will never experience that joy again.

Never, ever, again will we share the beautiful life we had with Ana. We have lost our child and the children she dreamed of having. Our grandchildren. There are no words.

“What words can describe how we feel at the loss of our wonderful little girl. She loved her life. She embraced all of the wonderful experiences life brought her.

“She was so kind to everyone. The pain of living without her is unbearable. There is such emptiness in our lives without her.

“Life without Ana is no longer nor is it even an existence – it is a misery that we must endure for rest of our lives. We have lost our precious daughter and every family occasion without her is entrenched with pain and sorrow.

“How can there be any solace in this conviction for any of us? Ana’s death is irreversible.”

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee, Alison O’Riordan and Eoin Reynolds

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