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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019
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Pathologist details to court the extent of injuries found on body of Ana Kriegel

The trial continues this afternoon.

Note to readers: This court report contains detailed descriptions around the injuries found on Ana Kriegel’s body.

FORMER STATE PATHOLOGIST Marie Cassidy detailed the injuries caused to Ana Kriegel as the trial resumed on its eighth day in court today.

Professor Cassidy told the jury that the 14-year-old suffered multiple fractures, bruising and lacerations to her body at the time of her death. She detailed to the court that there were over 55 sites of injury on the teenager’s body.

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.

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 jury was told that both the accused would not be in the court for this section of the evidence. They were excluded from this portion of the evidence after both defence counsels made applications to Judge Paul McDermott.

Injuries

Professor Cassidy told the court today that when she attended the scene, she found that areas of Ana’s body were covered in layers of dust and debris. 

She told the jury that it was her impression that Ana was injured close to the doorway of the room her body found and was then moved further into the room.

While carrying out the post-mortem, Professor Cassidy noted the injuries which were confined to Ana’s head and neck. She said in court today that the deceased had extensive bruising on her face, with irregular splits in her scalp. There were fractures to her eye socket, upper jaw, cheekbone and to the cartilage in her neck. 

Ana suffered four lacerations to the back of her head, the court also heard. Three of the lacerations were on the right side of her head – the other to the left. 

There were multiple lacerations to her face and neck. There was also an 11.5cm laceration down the left-hand side of Ana’s face, the court heard. 

Professor Cassidy said Ana suffered bruising to her hands and arms – injuries she said were consistent with defensive injuries.

Ana also suffered haemorrhaging to the lining inside her eyelids. Professor Cassidy explained to the jury that these injuries are commonly seen in someone who is suffering from a lack of oxygen. She said one indication of these types of injury is mechanical asphyxia or “compression of neck such as strangulation”.

Professor Cassidy described how she also found evidence of bruising at the mons pubis – the area of fat around the pubic bone.

She also found evidence which showed fresh bleeding to areas of the vagina. In her conclusions she determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head or compression to the neck. 

Professor Cassidy said there was evidence to suggest there was an attempt to penetrate Ana’s vagina. She found no foreign material inside the deceased. Professor Cassidy said that Ana may have been unconscious or otherwise restrained when the alleged attempted penetration occurred, the court heard. 

Professor Cassidy told the court that there was evidence Ana was not sexually active at the time of her death.

In cross-examination, Professor Cassidy agreed with defence counsel Patrick Gageby that injuries caused to Ana’s vagina could also have been caused by consensual sexual contact. 

Conclusions

In her conclusions to the jury, Professor Cassidy said there was evidence that Ana had been violently assaulted and she suffered “extensive injuries” to her head and neck. There was also evidence, she said, that there was an attempt to penetrate her vagina. 

The court heard that there were no drink or drugs in Ana’s body at the time of her death and Professor Cassidy described her as being a “very healthy” person. 

She said Ana suffered four separate impacts to her head. Professor Cassidy said this could have been caused by a “fairly heavy object with small striking surfaces”. 

She said there were two main areas of impact to each side of the teenager’s face. She said these strikes had the potential to render Ana unconscious.

Professor Cassidy told the jury there were “definite signs” of asphyxia. She added that such injuries could have caused Ana to lose consciousness. The teenager also lost a lot of blood in the incident, the court heard. 

The trial resumes this afternoon.

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