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Witness said he saw a schoolboy 'make a beeline' towards farmhouse where Ana Kriegel's body was found, court hears

This is the fifth day of the trial.

A MAN WHO was walking through the park near where Ana Kriegel was found told a court how he saw a young teenager making “a beeline” towards an abandoned farmhouse where her body would later be found.

In his evidence to the jury today, Gerard Redmond said he saw a teenage boy with a bag on his back walking towards the farmhouse shortly after 5pm on 14 May 2018 – the day of Ana’s disappearance. 

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

Redmond said he usually walked in that park in the morning and early afternoons with his dog. 

He said that at around 5.07pm on the day of Ana’s disappearance, he observed a young male schoolboy in front of him who was wearing a bag over his back. 

He said that what caught his attention was that the path on which he was walking is very well surfaced but that the boy was walking “on top of a very low embankment which had a very narrow walking surface”. 

Redmond said he remarked to himself as to why he was walking on it. He said it then became clear as the boy “suddenly turned to his right and dropped down into a ditch and then came up on the farside to a large field which surrounds the disused farmhouse”.

“What struck me was he didn’t go through the field at a 90-degree angle. His track was a 45-degree angle to the road and it was a beeline towards the disused farmhouse. I assumed this was a schoolboy taking a shortcut home.”

Redmond said he was surprised to see the boy walking through the field as it was in crop at the time and at ankle height. He remarked that if a nearby farmer saw the teenager, then he wouldn’t be too happy.

‘Assault on Boy A’

The court also heard from a number of youth witnesses today.

One told the court how Boy A called to their house at around 6pm that same evening. The witness said that Boy A was holding his arm up to his chest and that he was limping. 

The youth asked the accused what had happened and Boy A said that he had been assaulted by two men. The youth also testified that there was something which appeared to be blood on Boy A’s white t-shirt. Boy A was wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and steel-toed boots on the day, according to the witness. The court then heard that the youth told Boy A that he should go home to his parents. 

In his statement to gardaí, read to the court yesterday, Boy A said that he had been attacked by two men as he walked through the park on the day of Ana’s disappearance. 

In evidence today, the same youth witness also described how he met Boy B two days after Ana’s body was discovered. He called to the home of Boy B and went into his back garden as he waited for him to get changed. The youth said they spoke briefly about Ana and that Boy B said he was sad.

The father of that youth was also called as a witness. He was walking with his dog in the park at around 5.45pm on the day of Ana’s disappearance. 

He said he saw Boy A walking through the park between 5.45pm and 6pm that day. He said he initially saw a young person walking in the park who appeared to be injured. 

He said that when he came closer to the boy, he recognised the teenager to be Boy A, who was friends with his son. The father said he was concerned and was worried that Boy A might have been beaten up. He inquired what happened and he told the court Boy A said he had “taken a fall”. The father said he saw what appeared to be blood on Boy A’s t-shirt. He said there appeared to be no blood on his face.

Youth witness

A teenage girl also gave evidence via videolink at the Central Criminal Court and said she saw Boy B and Ana walking through the park on the day of her disappearance.

She agreed with defence counsel Damian Colgan that the two seemed happy. The youth witness said the two were “cutting through the grass…from the corner of the football field towards the car park”.

She said that she recognised Ana first as she had recently dyed her hair black and it was originally blonde. She said she looked over and that the two seemed to be having a good time and that they were laughing and joking.

She added: “They were having a brisk walk. It was sort of a skippy jump. They were too far away (to talk me). I don’t think they would have noticed me.”

This evening, Justice Paul McDermott varied an earlier order which barred the media from publishing any of the evidence relating to the trial until a verdict is reached.

The judge made the initial order this afternoon but varied it this evening when he restricted the original order to one media publisher only. TheJournal.ie will continue to report from the trial each day.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

Comments are closed for legal reasons. 

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