Mary-Ann accused 'confessed to social worker'

A Kosovan orphan accused of murdering teenager Mary-Ann Leneghan told his social worker he had tortured her and her friend, a court heard today.

Indrit Krasniqi, 18, told Claudette Campbell he burned the girls with cigarettes and stabbed them with knives, Reading Crown Court heard.

The woman, who worked as a senior residential social worker at a Clapham Junction children’s home where Krasniqi lived until September 2004, told the court she was “stunned” when he told her on May 8 last year.

This was a day after the body of 16-year-old Mary-Ann was discovered riddled with stab wounds in Prospect Park in Reading, Berkshire. Her 18-year-old friend was shot in the head but “miraculously” survived.

Giving evidence before the Reading Crown Court jury, Miss Campbell shakily told how the boy so close to her he called her “mum” had telephoned her and she immediately knew something was wrong.

She said he asked her: “Did you hear about the two girls?” She said she replied: “What girls?” He said, the court heard: “On the news.”

She said he described how he had gone to Reading with “the boys” to seek revenge for a stabbing attack on one of them. The court heard previously the man who had been attacked was Krasniqi’s co-defendant Adrian Thomas.

He said they had picked up two girls – who Thomas blamed for setting up the attack – and took them to a hotel – said previously to be the Abbey Guest House in Reading.

She said he then told her: “We tortured them.”

She said: “He said that he had cut them with knives and burned them with cigarettes.”

“I asked him: ’Why did you do that?’”

She said he did not answer, but instead told her: “One of the girls was put on her knees and shot in the back of the head.”

Asked by Krasniqi’s barrister Gilbert Gray QC why she didn’t remonstrate with him, she replied: “I was stunned by what Indrit was telling me. I was at home and I had just received a call telling me this from a boy I had worked with.”

She said she repeatedly told Krasniqi to hand himself in to police but he had appeared “reluctant“.

She said of the shooting: “He said he was there but he didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Mr Gilbert responded: “Then he said: ’They didn’t expect her to live.”’

Miss Campbell replied: “Yes.”

The court also heard from Krasniqi’s friend, fellow Kosovan Eruin Xhetan, that Krasniqi told him on May 10 that he had been in Reading when one of the girls was stabbed and the other was shot.

He said: “He just wasn’t himself. He is usually very calm but he just seemed different. He kept swearing at himself.”

Krasniqi, of Chiswick, west London, faces charges including rape, kidnap and murder together with Adrian Thomas, 20, of Battersea, south London, Joshua Morally, 23, of Balham, south London, Jamaile Morally, 22, and Llewellyn Adams, 24, both of Balham and Michael Johnson, 19, of Southfields, south-west London.

Joshua Morally has admitted two counts of kidnap but denies murder, the attempted murder of the 18-year-old, rape, and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The others deny all the charges.

Mary-Ann's father left Mayo for the UK in the 1970s.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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