Boy who complained of assault on day Ana Kriegel went missing was 'like a rabbit caught in the headlights'

Boy who complained of assault on day Ana Kriegel went missing was 'like a rabbit caught in the headlights'
Anastasia Kriegel

A boy who said he had been beaten up in a woods in the park where Anastasia Kriegel was last seen looked "like a rabbit caught in the headlights" and wouldn't engage, a park ranger has told the trial of the two boys accused of her murder.

Norman Macken today told prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC that he has been a ranger at the park for 17 years.

On May 14 last year, the day Ms Kriegel disappeared, some time before 7pm, Mr Macken was making a cup of tea when he heard someone banging "really crazy" on the window of the rangers' hut.

Mr Macken opened the door and saw an "irate" man who said his son was "jumped on" in the woods by "big fellas". The ranger called gardaí and handed the man his phone. As the man spoke to gardaí the witness said he noticed a dark-coloured car with someone in the passenger seat and presumed this was the man's son.

He went over to him, to see if he needed help. He was a "young lad", about 16 years old Mr Macken thought, and looked as if he had been in a fight. His hair was all over the place, the witness said, and he had a little bit of blood on his fingers, his face and his clothes including his trouser pocket.

Mr Macken asked: "Are you ok, what happened?" The boy put his hands over his face and said: "I just got a bit of a hiding in the woods," Mr Macken told the court.

He later noticed the boy's hands were on his knees and they were shaking. Mr Macken tried to ask questions but there wasn't much response. The witness walked away, he said, "because he wouldn't engage with me".

When Mr Grehan asked about the boy's demeanour, Mr Macken said he was like a "rabbit caught in the headlights".

Mr Macken further remembered the boy's father telling him that his son was "well able to look after himself" and mentioned he had done judo or karate or some other self defence. When the man left, having spoken to gardaí, he seemed happy enough, Mr Macken said.

Mr Macken was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court in the trial of two boys charged with murdering the Kildare schoolgirl.

The accused, who are both 14, cannot be named because they are minors. They have each pleaded not guilty to murdering Anastasia at Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road, Lucan on May 14 last year. Boy A is further charged with the 14-year-old’s aggravated sexual assault in a manner that involved serious violence to her. He has also pleaded not guilty to that count.

The jury also heard from a doctor who said Boy A visited him with his mother on May 16, 2018. The boy said he had been assaulted in a random attack two days earlier.

He said he was grabbed from behind and taken to the ground by two young men. The boy described how he was able to get to his feet and fight one of them off before the other ran away.

During the alleged assault, he said he was kicked on the right knee, the lower back and chest and he thought he had been "scuffed" on the mouth after seeing blood in his mouth. The doctor's examination revealed that Boy A had bruising over the left lower back and was tender in that area.

The doctor saw swelling on the outside of the right knee and there was evidence of fluid in the joint. He also noted bruising on the left side of the upper chest or the sternum. The boy further complained of pain in the right wrist, which he said was from a previous injury that may have been exacerbated by the assault.

The doctor concluded that he had suffered multiple blunt force trauma injuries, possibly from kicks or punches.

The trial continues in front of Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of eight men and four women.

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