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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020

The 'overwhelming forensic evidence' against Boy A and the 'devious lies' of Boy B: Prosecution counsel's closing statement

The defence closing statements are due at the start of next week.

THE PROSECUTION COUNSEL in the murder trial of Ana Kriegel has told the jury that there is “overwhelming forensic” evidence against Boy A to convict him of murder.

In his closing statement, senior counsel Brendan Grehan told the jury that this case was “horrendous enough” on the facts alone, and he was not seeking to bring emotion into it. He said the jury was dealing with the tragic death of a 14-year-old girl in circumstances where the prosecution says she was sexually assaulted.

He said that it is the prosecution’s case that both of the accused lied to gardaí when they were investigating the disappearance of Ana Kriegel.

Grehan said: “The case against Boy A is that he is guilty of murder and sexual assault due to an overwhelming forensic case against him.”

He said there is forensic evidence which connects Boy A to the abandoned house where Ana was found. The prosecution claims that there is no “innocent explanation” for those connections. 

Two boys, known as Boy A and Boy B, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 14-year-old Ana Kriegel on 14 May 2018. Boy A has also been charged with aggravated sexual assault – a charge he also denies. Both boys were 13 years old at the time of the alleged offences.

Grehan said the case against Boy B was different, telling the jury that there is no forensic evidence connecting him to the scene. He said the case against Boy B relies on what “came out of his own mouth” during interviews with officers. 

Grehan said that it is the prosecution case that Boy B assisted the killer of Ana Kriegel and played a “vital role” in bringing her to the abandoned house where she died. 

The jury was also told that it is the prosecution’s case that Boy B was present when Ana was stripped, sexually assaulted and was “most likely” there when she was killed. 

“We say further he helped in covering up this afterwards by his lies and that this wasn’t something accidental or happened by chance.”

He added that there “must have been some kind of discussion in advance of what happened”. 

Grehan told the jury that the prosecutors are effectively trying two different cases.

The prosecution case against Boy A 

The court heard how Ana Kriegel found her teenager years difficult. She was the object of bullying, she dressed and acted differently to those around her and was someone who “desperately wanted to be noticed”, according to Grehan. 

He said she craved friends and friendship and “for that very reason, it made her vulnerable and it made her an easy mark for someone who would know that about her”. 

Grehan told the jury that Ana had previously expressed a romantic interest in Boy A. 

She left her house on Monday 14 May in the company of Boy B. She was happy leaving the house, according to evidence her father previously gave the trial, Grehan said. Prosecution then suggested that the source of this possible happiness was the news that Boy A wanted to see her. 

“It must have seemed like all her dreams had come true,” he told the court.

Grehan then summarised evidence given by former state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy in relation to injuries Ana had sustained. 

Cassidy had revealed that Ana suffered severe and extensive injuries to her head and neck. There was also evidence to suggest an attempted penetration of Ana’s vagina. 

Ana had defensive type injuries and had bruising on her arms. There was widespread bruising and scratches throughout her entire body. The most serious were confined to her head and neck. 

Grehan said Cassidy concluded Ana had been violently assaulted in the room where she had been found and that there had been a struggle. 

Grehan said forensic evidence gathered by gardaí showed that Ana suffered a very violent death and that she had fought for her life. He said there was “no doubt that Ana did not simply succumb into unconsciousness, she fought”. 

He detailed how semen was found on two areas of Ana’s vest top which was discovered in a ripped state in the abandoned house. A DNA profile from that semen matched Boy A’s DNA profile, Grehan said.

Grehan continued, reminding the jury how it had heard that Ana’s blood was found on the outside of a backpack found in Boy A’s house. Ana’s blood was also found on gloves, a mask and knee pads which were all found in that backpack. A DNA profile taken from the mask contained a mixed profile which forensic scientists said matched the profiles of Ana and Boy A. 

Grehan said “most significantly” Boy A’s boots were examined and extensive blood staining was found in nine different areas and all of them were matches for Ana’s DNA. 

Forensic scientist John Hoade, Grehan said, concluded that Boy A either assaulted Ana or he was in a very close proximity to her when she was assaulted.

‘The alleged assault on Boy A’

The court heard that Boy A had bumped into the father of a friend of his as he walked through the park on 14 May. That man had given evidence to the court that it appeared Boy A had been in a row with someone. Boy A next went to a house of a friend where he mentioned he had been beaten up by two people in the park – “the start of an account which would be repeated to a number of different people, including his parents and gardaí”, Grehan said today.

The prosecutor told the jury that there in “no evidence from any CCTV to support this suggestion”.

“It’s the prosecution case that this was a story made up by Boy A to explain away the injuries he did have. He went to a great extent to do it,” Grehan said.  

He added: “It’s the prosecution case is that Boy A is lying – he’s a bit like the child you catch who has been eating the chocolate biscuits, chocolate all around their mouth but they’re still there looking at you in the face saying they didn’t do it. The evidence points one way.” He said it points to Boy A being at the scene and being present when Ana was bleeding.

Grehan said that the semen at the scene supports the sexual assault charge levelled against Boy A. He said one can “simply discount out of hand any suggestion of any potential consensual activity having taken place on that dirty dark floor of Glenwood House within the tiniest of timeframes of probably 15 minutes from when she got there to when they left. There simply isn’t room for any type of suggestion of anything else. 

Nor is there anything from Ana Kriegel that suggests she just succumbed – she fought for her life. Our case is she was murdered by Boy A and he sexually assaulted her in a very violent way in the process. 

The prosecution case against Boy B  

Brendan Grehan told the court that the evidence against Boy B comes from his own mouth. He said Boy B witnessed Ana being brought to the ground, witnessed her being strangled, stripped except for the bra. Grehan said, “He describes all of this and he apparently doesn’t see any blood – how could you not see blood? – apparently, he didn’t see Ana fighting back at all or any of the violence that had been occasioned against her.

“Boy B was there – there’s no question about it. He brought her there – no question about that at all. If he did that in the knowledge of another person intending to kill her, then he is guilty of murder, the prosecution say. On the night of the 14th – there is Boy B telling gardaí the first of many lies. Believe me. I lost count.

“He gives an account of seeing Ana in the park but doesn’t mention Boy A at all – that’s the start of it. It’s not as if he can’t speak or communicate – he is, I would suggest to you, highly intelligent, highly articulate, highly composed… Not in the least bit, I would suggest to you, intimidated by surroundings which would bring most of us to our knees if we were out in this position and accused of murder, not a bit of it. That in itself is surprising but that doesn’t equate with guilt.”

Grehan said that Boy B “ultimately accepted he was there and he was in the house” when gardaí put evidence to him. He said at the very start of his interviews, Boy B told gardaí he saw Ana in the park heading off “in the exact opposite direction”. He said the next day, Boy B changes that, he changes the initial meeting place.

“So – you have Boy B telling gardaí in a full written statement that he called for Ana on request of his friend.” Grehan said that the meeting in the park “doesn’t make sense anyway”. 

He said Boy B kept changing his story as more evidence was produced to him during questioning with officers. Grehan accused Boy B of trying to “outfox” the gardaí. 

The prosecution added that the next interview with Boy B is “quite instructive in terms of Boy B’s attitude to Ana”.

For someone he professes he has no interest in, he seems to have a lot to say about her – all of it negative. The way he describes her physically – as an outcast, as somebody who he wouldn’t want to be seen with. The way he described her as a weirdo – all can give a certain indication of a view about Ana. This is the same person who is calling to her house to say Boy A wants to meet you in the park so that Boy A can tell her ‘I don’t want anything to do with you’. It doesn’t make any sense why they wanted to meet in the park. 

In another interview, Grehan said Boy B was shown Boy A’s blood-stained boots. Boy B told gardaí that Boy A wouldn’t do something like that. Grehan said that the court now knows that Boy B was there witnessing the alleged assault on Ana. 

Grehan said there are elements of “fancy footwork – the maybes and the mights” in Boy B’s interviews with gardaí. 

In a later interview, Boy B then admits to officers he was in the house on 14 May 2018 but that he left when he saw Boy A put his arm around her. Grehan said it is the prosecution’s case that he did not leave. 

Grehan described how Boy B then told gardaí Boy A had spoken about killing Ana a month before her death but that he didn’t think he was being serious. 

Prosecution said that the question the jury needs to ask is “what credibility Boy B has in terms of everything he said about Ana, his attitude to Ana, why she was being lured from her house”. 

Grehan accused Boy B of telling “deeply deceptive, devious lies that kept changing”.

He concluded:

“Ana was in that house because of Boy B – he brought her there, he bears responsibility for what happened there and by his own mouth he was aware that Boy A had expressed an intention to kill Ana Kriegel. 

“It is the prosecution case that when you consider all utterances of Boy B, the truths if they’re there, the half-truths, the lies, it comes down to one thing, down to a situation where his credibility that he didn’t know Boy A was going to do to Ana is simply unbelievable and that you can safely convict him of murder.” 

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