Both boys accused of murdering Ana Kriegel lied to the gardaí investigating her disappearance in May last year, Brendan Grehan, prosecuting, said yesterday in his closing speech to the jury.
Mr Grehan said the case against Boy A is that he is guilty due to an “overwhelming forensic case” that connects him to the scene and items belonging to him, found in his house connect him back to Ana. He said the evidence is “comprehensive” and there is no innocent explanation.
The case against Boy B, he said, is very different. Counsel said there is no forensic evidence connecting him to the scene but instead the prosecution relies on “what came out of his mouth” in garda interviews.
Mr Grehan added: “A large amount of that were lies, untruths and half-truths.”
He said Boy B “assisted the killer of Ana Kriegel” and in particular, he “assisted and played a vital role in bringing Ana to the location where she was killed.”
He was present, Mr Grehan said, when she was brought to the ground, stripped, sexually assaulted and “most likely when she was murdered”.
He then helped in covering up by his lies to gardaí, Mr Grehan said. Mr Grehan explained to the jury that if a person knowingly helps somebody else in committing a crime, they are also guilty.
Mr Grehan reminded the jury of the evidence of John Hoade of Forensic Science Ireland who examined blood spatter at the scene and found that Ana was struck several times with a weapon as she lay on the floor. He also said she bled in one area for some time before her body was moved. A concrete block and a wooden board found at the scene had Ana’s blood on them.
Mr Grehan said the pathology and forensic evidence showed that “Ana suffered a very violent death where she fought for her life”. He added: “There’s no doubt that Ana Kriegel did not simply succumb into unconsciousness.”
Her top, he told the jury, was “completely ripped asunder” and stained with her blood, as were her bra, underwear and hoodie. Her bra, he said, had been “violently forcibly removed”.
He further told the jury that forensic scientists found semen on her top and matched the DNA to Boy A. DNA matching Boy A was also found on Ana’s neck and on the tape around her neck. Counsel further pointed to blood matching Ana’s DNA that was found on Boy A’s boots, on a backpack found in a wardrobe in his bedroom and on a mask, gloves and knee pads found in the backpack.
Counsel told the jury that Boy A told gardaí that on the evening Ana went missing, he met Ana in the park and was surprised to see her. She asked him out and he “let her down gently”.
Soon afterwards, he said, he was assaulted by two people in the park. Mr Grehan said CCTV does not support this claim and suggested this was a, “story made up by [Boy A] to explain away the injuries he had.”
He further told the jury they can, “discount any possible consensual activity taking place on that dirty, dark floor.”
He said there is also nothing to suggest that Ana, “simply succumbed to some kind of overture. She fought with her life. She was murdered by [Boy A] and he sexually assaulted her in a very violent way in the process”.
Mr Grehan described Boy B as “highly intelligent, articulate and composed.”
He was, “not in the least bit” intimidated by his surroundings in the garda station, Mr Grehan said. Counsel said that gardaí implored and pleaded with him to tell the truth during 17 hours of interviews and showed “incredible restraint in the face of what they were faced with”. He said he wanted to say that before it is suggested that he was “put upon” by gardaí. He said: “The evidence you have seen suggests very much otherwise.”
He said Boy B gave multiple versions of what happened, each time insisting he was telling the truth. Mr Grehan said the boy changed his story when gardaí showed him CCTV evidence that contradicted his version of events and only admitted being in the field near the abandoned house after gardaí told him a witness had seen a boy going into the field.
Mr Grehan said Boy B knew there was “no romantic interlude coming” when he called to Ana’s house to tell her Boy A wanted to see her. Boy B said he and Ana met Boy A by a fence in the park but Mr Grehan said “there was no meeting in the park”.
Counsel said CCTV and witness evidence suggested that when Boy B claimed they met in the park, Boy A was already in the abandoned house. Mr Grehan asked: “Was he dressed in what he had with him? We don’t know, but the suggestion that they met [Boy A] at the fence is not borne out by evidence.”
Mr Grehan also asked why would it be necessary “in this modern age” for Boy A to meet Ana in the park to tell her he wasn’t interested. Mr Grehan described the answers given by Boy B in interviews as “hedging his bets” and “using clever footwork, trying to outfox the gardaí”.
He reminded the jury that Boy B told gardaí he saw Ana in the park after the meeting with Boy A but later, after gardaí said CCTV contradicted this suggestion, said that he thought it looked like Ana but it might not have been her.
Mr Grehan said that Boy B continued to lie after his fourth interview in which he said he had lied in his previous interviews and wanted to “retell the story,” Boy B responded to the evidence that Ana’s blood was found on Boy A’s boots by saying: “No, no. [Boy A] wouldn’t do that,” and “Jesus, one of my best friends!”
Counsel said: “We know he was there, witnessing all this. Is this lying or lying plus acting out a reaction.”
By interview 7, Boy B accepted he was in the house and said that he saw Boy A get on top of Ana but Mr Grehan said his description of Ana “lying there uninjured, not putting up any resistance, being stripped naked” was “totally unbelievable”.
He also told the jury that Boy B initially said he didn’t remember seeing Boy A wearing the mask, shin guards and knee pads but later, after gardaí told him about the blood evidence, he said he remembered seeing him wearing those items.
Mr Grehan said Boy B “lured” Ana to the house and he bears responsibility for what he knew was going to happen. He knew Boy A had “expressed an intention to kill Ana”.
Mr Grehan concluded, saying Boy B’s claim that he didn’t know what was going to happen to Ana is, “simply unbelievable and you can safely convict him of murder.”