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Boy A closing statement: 'There is not one bit of evidence' to suggest Boy A planned to kill Ana Kriegel

Defence senior counsel addressed the jury for the final time.

DEFENCE COUNSEL FOR Boy A today in his closing statement said there was not “one bit of evidence from the witness box” to suggest that the accused planned to kill Ana Kriegel. 

In his final address to the court, Patrick Gageby urged members of the jury to remember being of the age of the accused and asked them to think about the maturity levels of those allegedly involved in the trial. 

Two boys have pleaded not guilty to Ana’s murder. Boy A has also been charged with aggravated sexual assault – a charge he also denies.

Gageby said that only a year prior to Ana’s death, his client was a child in primary school and remarked how important the question of age is in this case. He added that the family of Ana Kriegel had demonstrated “enormous grace” since the trial began. 

He said that if there is sympathy for the Kriegel family, then “we will also recognise the terrible effect if you’re a parent of a child of 13 who has been brought to trial for such serious offences as these are”. He said he was not saying there was “an equivalent stress or anxiety” but he wanted to draw the jury to the fact that Boy A’s family are like the rest of the community, “hard-working, decent people”. 

He said Boy A’s was not a house where gardaí would have called or where the children would have been known to officers for anti-social behaviour. 

Gageby said that “perhaps it is easy to forget the world of the 13 and 14 year old” and urged the jury to be careful about drawing unfair inferences from the appearance or interests of teenage boys. 

Gageby also spoke to the jury about information retrieved from the devices of Boy A. He said there was a search for abandoned places in Lucan but also for Nerf guns (toy guns) and skulls.

He said there was no evidence to suggest that his client had in fact viewed a video entitled 15 most gruesome torture methods in history. He said that it was found on a screenshot of a list of videos.

“Is there any evidence that it was viewed? The answer is no”, Gageby added.

He said that “one has to be careful about what these things are meant to mean” – things which he said the prosecution had characterised as “unusual interests”. 

Gageby remarked that young people now have many devices and interests and frequently have the unlimited ability to look and find things which are of interest to them. 

If you took any 13-year-old boy and did a complete trawl of all their devices of whatever kind, what are the chances you’ll find something? One thing even, two small things which are unpleasant? Violent games; anything with violence in it through all those games they play.  Are they all lovely beautiful stories or is there violence in them – is there sexism in them? 

Gageby told the jury that there has not been one witness that has given evidence to say Boy A wanted to kill anyone, or indeed kill Ana Kriegel. 

He said: “Is there any solid or real evidence of this intention to kill Anastasia Kriegel?”

Gageby cited two youth witnesses who gave evidence during the trial. He said the prosecution had an obligation to call these teenagers. He said “there’s not one bit of evidence from the witness box to suggest” that there was any intention to do harm to Ana Kriegel. 

Defence counsel for Boy A told the jury that it knows that Boy A left substantial traces of evidence in the contents of his bag. He asked the jury to consider that normally gardaí don’t give notice to people that they are to arrest them. But the two accused were in this case. 

He asked the jury: “Isn’t it telling that he doesn’t appear to have done anything with the bag or the contents?

“It might be constructive to see how the accused behaved – was he cool, calm and collected? The evidence is all the other way. He was shook and shaking – a little bit inconsistent with the theory of planning.”

Gageby said the jury has to decide if there is any evidence to suggest that there was any planning or intention to cause harm to Ana. 

He concluded: “I want to suggest to you to take on board what I have said to you. You make the decision, it matters not what we think or what we suggest to you. The decision is yours and yours alone.”  

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