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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020

Ana's blood and DNA found on mask discovered in Boy A's house, court hears

The court heard that Ana’s blood was also found on gloves, knee pads and a backpack in Boy A’s house.

ANA KRIEGEL’S BLOOD was found on a mask, knee pads and gloves contained in a backpack in Boy A’s home, her murder trial has heard.

Forensic expert John Hoade told the court today that he tested a number of items which were seized by gardaí following the execution of a search warrant after two boys were arrested following the death of the 14-year-old girl. 

Gardaí found a blue-and-white backpack in a wardrobe in Boy A’s bedroom. 

When the bag was searched it was found to contain a mask, gloves, a snood (a type of head and neckwear), knee pads and shin pads. 

In his evidence today, Hoade said that he found blood staining on the mask, knee pads and gloves, as well as on the bag itself. He said this blood matched the DNA profile of Ana Kriegel. 

In testing the mask, Hoade said he found a mixed DNA profile which matched that of Boy A and Ana Kriegel. 

The mask would cover the eyes and nose but not the mouth of its wearer. It had blue liner around the eyes and red around its lips. Hoade agreed with prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan that there was fake blood around where the mouth would be, when worn. 

The bag in which the items were found was also stained with Ana Kriegel’s blood, Hoade told the court. 

Two boys, known as Boy A and Boy B, have pleaded not guilty to the 14-year-old girl’s murder. 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.

Ana’s body was discovered in a disused house three days after she disappeared in May last year. 

It is being alleged by the prosecution that Boy A murdered Ana and sexually assaulted her. It is the prosecution’s case that Boy B assisted the murder and knew what was going to happen.

The court heard about the procedures gardaí took when carrying out the searches at the boys’ homes. 

Due to their ages, gardaí were instructed not to arrive at the house wearing garda clothing or in marked garda cars. They were told to put evidence removed from the home of Boy A into garda evidence bags which were then to be placed in black bin liners before being removed to the vehicles outside. 

The court heard from Garda Hugh O’Carroll who was one of the officers to carry out a search of Boy A’s home. 

He said he went into Boy A’s bedroom and opened a wardrobe where he found a backpack. He told his colleagues he could see what looked like shin pads and knee pads but did not examine it further at this point. 

Garda O’Carroll said he also found an open safe on top of Boy A’s wardrobe with an Alcatel phone. Gardaí that day also seized a number of laptops, phones, tablet computers and video game consoles. 

The court also heard that a homemade face mask, a green tactical bag and a green-and-black backpack were also found in this search.

Blood and DNA evidence

In his evidence to the court today, John Hoade from Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) said he checked a number of items for DNA and blood analysis that he received on 11 June. 

He said there were a pair of black gloves, black plastic knee pads, black shin guards, a black woolen snood and a mask.

He said he found blood on a number of areas on the outside of the bag. Hoade said that the blood matched Ana’s DNA profile.

He said when he examined the mask, he found blood on the inside and the outside of it. Hoade said the blood matched Ana’s DNA profile.

There was blood on the thumb area of one of the gloves, as well as blood staining on the back of the ring finger. This also matched Ana’s blood, he said. 

Hoade said he was also in possession of a DNA sample taken from Boy A. He said he focused on areas of the mask when attempting to find DNA profiles. He said he found a mixed DNA profile. He said elements of both Ana’s and Boy A’s profiles were found on the mask. 

The forensic expert also examined items of clothing worn by Boy B on the day of Ana’s disappearance. He said he could find no blood on his runners, polo shirt, tracksuit bottoms or two backpacks. 

Forensic swabs

Dr Charlotte Murphy is another forensic expert from Forensic Science Ireland. 

She told the court today that she took swabs from Ana’s neck, bra, vest top, false nails, inside her underwear and inside her socks. Dr Murphy said she carried out a technique called male specific DNA profiling. She explained that this was a method used by scientists to extrapolate male DNA only from a sample. 

She told the court that she detected male DNA on areas of tape which were discovered around Ana’s neck. She said that she managed to extract a full profile from one of the exhibits and she said it matched the profile of Boy A. She said there was a 7,160/1 chance that the DNA found belonged to someone unrelated to him. 

Dr Murphy also examined a neck swab taken from Ana’s body and found male specific DNA which was also a match to Boy A. She added again that there was 7,160/1 chance that the DNA found belonged to someone unrelated to him. 

In cross-examination, defence senior counsel for Boy A, Patrick Gageby, asked Dr Murphy to explain why the odds of finding a match were 7,160/1. The court earlier heard that DNA evidence submitted by the court in relation to Ana’s blood carried a one billion to one odds of it being someone else’s profile. 

Dr Murphy explained that the difference comes down to a difference in profiling. She said it’s due to the nature of the Y (male) chromosome. She told Gageby that the reduction in odds is because the population she sampled is much smaller to than the sample that was used to test previous evidence.

Gageby then asked Dr Murphy on a point of principle in relation to the movement of DNA samples. He asked if a boy was intimate with a girl, that this could involve a transfer of DNA. He asked if casual intimacy or kissing could result in a transfer of DNA. Dr Murphy said this was possible. 

The trial continues in front of eight men and four women. 

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