Victim impact statement from Geraldine Kriegel
The happiest day of our lives was the 10th August, 2006, the day the court declared that we could become the parents of Ana, who we felt was, the most wonderful child in the world.
We agonised, for so many years, through a laborious adoption process, waiting for her and when she came she brought, to us, everything that we had dreamed of for all those years and much more.
All of the love and happiness that we longed for suddenly flooded into our lives. She was wild and wonderful, electric, so full of fun, madness, and laughter.
We could not believe the happiness and joy we had found in our lives. She was the loveof our lives and every single night before she went to bed, she told us that she loved us too.
Every night she came to kiss us and she said, always in French: “Bonne nuit, dors bien, fais de beaux reves, je t’aime.”
“Goodnight, sleep tight, have beautiful dreams, I love you.”
She cannot do that anymore and we cannot tell you how badly it hurts.
On Monday, 14th May, 2018, Ana didn’t come home. The cold fear we felt knowing she was in serious danger, knowing that something or someone prevented her from coming home to us.
We knew she would never stay out without permission. She would never hurt us.
The panic, the dread, the agonising wait, the hours that turned in to days. We didn’t know where she was or what had happened to her.
But somebody did. Somebody knew. We waited and waited for our little girl to come home. But she never did.
The saddest day of our lives was 17 th May, 2018 — three days later we heard those dreaded words that no parent wants to hear: “We are so sorry.”
Our precious little girl’s body had been found. The depth of pain and haunting nightmares that we live with following the formal identification of Ana in such traumatic and horrific circumstances. There is no way to describe how that feels.
We brought Ana to live in a ‘safe’ place, a quiet country village, a leafy suburb, where the only sounds inthe morning are the doves cooing. No-one could suspect the evil that lay in waiting for her.
No one could anticipate the darkness that swirled in the souls of those that murdered and violated her. How could any child or even any adult imagine, in their worst nightmares, the danger that lay ahead?
She wanted to live but she was not permitted to do that. Our lives are destroyed by what happened to Ana. We cannot look at a group of teenage boys in the same way ever again. That cold fear hits and brings all the horror back.
Imagine the terror. Imagine the pain she suffered. That will live with us — all our lives.
We lie awake at night, thinking about the fear she felt when she realised she was going to be killed.
We pace the house at night agonising about the torture she went through; the horrendous pain she suffered; the sadistic violation of her beautiful, pure and innocent body.
To think that she was left to rot, in that squalid hell hole, for over three days. It is unbearable. It’s inhuman.
The whole family and friends suffer so terribly, every day and every night, with the agony of knowing now, in the most explicitdetail, what Ana was subjected to and knowing that her private life, along with the distorted misrepresentations of her by a twisted mind with tainted eyes, have been displayed on every TV station and newspaper in Ireland and across the world.
She was just a little girl with so many hopes and dreams and so much love inside her that she shared generously with all who knew her. Her dream was to build a hotel called The Analove Hotel.
She drew detailed floor plans and we, her parents, would have a special cottage on the land where we could spend holidays and be near her. Her plans, our future, shattered.
Her little sisters, aged 10 and 6, are devastated that they never got to meet their big sister.
She was to meet them, for the first time ever, this year and we had to deliver the heart-breaking news to her birth family that they will never ever see her. When she wrote to them previously, she said, in her own words: “I am so afraid that I will never meet you.”
Her fear was warranted. She never did. They cried and cried. They will never feel her warm hugs and loving kisses or see her dance so elegantly or hear her infectious laughter and we will never experience that joy again.
Never, ever, again will we share the beautiful life we had with Ana. We have lost our child and the children she dreamed of having. Our grandchildren.
There are no words. What words can describe how we feel at the loss of our wonderful little girl?
She loved her life. She embraced all of the wonderful experiences life brought her. She was so kind to everyone. The pain of living without her is unbearable. There is such emptiness in our lives without her.
Life, without Ana, is no longer a life, nor is it even an existence — it is a misery that we must endure for rest of our lives. We have lost our precious daughter, her brother has lost his sister and every family occasion, without her, is entrenched with pain and sorrow.
How can there be any solace, in this conviction, for any of us? Ana’s death is irreversible.
Shortly before she died she made a video, on her Snapchat story, as she walked to school with her school mates. She said, I quote: “I love you guys so much, in fact I love all first years”!
Such was the big heart Ana had and she genuinely shared it with everyone.
At the start of secondary school she was asked to write a paragraph on her hopes for the future. This is what she wrote:
“My hopes for the Future.
“I hoped I would get in to [this school], and I did, that is one goal down, my second hope is to go the Paris University, like my Dad, the hardest one to get in to and when I come home from Paris I would like to get a dog.
“I would like to get married too, not sure I want any babies, well, not yet anyway. I hope that I have a good life. I hope everyone I meet will be nice.”
We always felt that Ana was too good to be true. An ephemeral angel — in our hearts and in the hearts of the people of Ireland and Russia, with love, forever.
We are a broken family. Our hearts ache for you Ana. So many of the people in Ana’s life are traumatised and suffer nightmares, stress and anxiety, not just adults but children who are not only traumatised but in fear for their own lives.
Ana is lost to all of those people that loved her. Remember how much she loved you and hold on to that love in your hearts.
Thank you Ana for giving us all of that precious love.
We miss you.
We love you.
No one can ever take that away from us.
By Eoin Reynolds
More than 60 witnesses gave evidence in the Ana Kriegel murder trial, which began on April 30.
Ana’s parents were among the first to be called. Her father, Patric, said Ana had “a big smile” when she left the family home with Boy B at about 5pm on May 14, 2018.
Boy B had called to the Kriegel home and told Ana Boy A wanted to see her. Ana had a crush on Boy A. In his closing speech to the jury, prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC said it must have seemed as though her dreams had come true as she “bounded out of the house”.
Within 40 minutes, she would be dead.
Ana was a “loner” and her father was surprised when Boy B called to the house as nobody ever called for her. He heard her whispering at the door before she grabbed her black hoodie and left.
She told her father she would not be long and Mr Kriegel said he believed she meant it, but he forgot to ask where she was going. When Ana’s mother, Geraldine, found out she had gone out, she was immediately concerned. She described her daughter as “very immature, a child on the inside”.
She told the court: “On the outside she looked older and liked to wear makeup, but inside she was far younger than her years.”
Ana did not have friends, she said, apart from her cousins.
Ms Kriegel texted Ana, telling her to come home and demanding she respond or she would call gardaí.
“I was in between feeling like a paranoid mother, overprotective, and then being terrified,” she said.
It would be three days before gardaí discovered Ana’s body in an abandoned house, a 20- to 30-minute walk from her home. She was naked but for a pair of socks and had injuries covering most of her body, head, and neck.
Gardaí discovered Boy A and Boy B had met Ana that Monday. When they called to Boy A ,he told them he met her “randomly” in the park and she asked him out but he “let her down gently”.
Boy B told gardaí he arranged with Boy A to get Ana and bring her to the park so that Boy A could tell Ana that he did not want to have a relationship with her.
Gardaí got the boys to retrace their steps in the park and used CCTV to check their accounts. CCTV showed they were not where they said they were at the times they gave gardaí.
On May 24, both boys were arrested on suspicion of murder, questioned, and their homes searched.
Gardaí gathered what Mr Grehan described as “overwhelming” evidence against Boy A. It included CCTV contradicting his version of events, forensic evidence linking him to the scene and to Ana’s body, phone internet searches for “abandoned places in Lucan”, and circumstantial evidence including the injuries he presented with on May 14, which he claimed were the result of a random assault by two men
Semen matching Boy A’s DNA was found on Ana’s top at the scene and his DNA was on her neck and on both ends of a piece of tape that was wrapped around her neck.
Her blood was found on his boots and on a backpack, homemade ‘zombie’ mask, knee pads, and gloves gardaí found in a wardrobe in his bedroom.
Forensic scientist John Hoade said the blood spatter pattern on Boy A’s boots showed that he either assaulted Ana or was in close proximity to her when she was assaulted.
Mr Hoade found blood on the outside and inside of the mask and again the DNA matched that of Ana’s. He also found mixed DNA matching Boy A and Ana on the inside of the mask.
Gardaí called the contents of the bag a “murder kit” and Mr Grehan said the blood showed that Boy A was wearing the mask, shin guards, knee pads, hoodie, and boots when he assaulted Ana.
Having outlined the evidence against Boy A in his closing speech, Mr Grehan
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 his closing, defence counsel for Boy A Patrick Gageby SC said there was no evidence that Boy A planned to murder Ana. In his garda interviews, Boy A denied assaulting Ana, denied being in the house where her body was found, and said he last saw her in the park.
The murder weapons were a stick and a concrete block found at the scene near Ana’s body. Both were stained with her blood. Mr Hoade found evidence that Ana was struck several times on the head with a weapon while she lay on the floor.
Other blood stains indicated she was first assaulted while upright. An area of blood staining on the carpet suggested she lay bleeding on the ground for some time before being moved to where she was found by gardaí.
Ana’s clothes were strewn around the room, her top and bra had been ripped asunder, and there was a boot print on her hoodie.
Pathologist Marie Cassidy identified “extensive injuries” to Ana’s head and neck which had caused her death.
She described bruises, abrasions, and scratches all over her body. Mr Grehan suggested the evidence showed that Ana’s clothes had been removed when she suffered those injuries.
Prof Cassidy also pointed to evidence that that Ana put up a struggle but “may have been unconscious when sexually assaulted.” She said Ana had not been previously sexually active.
“Ana suffered a very violent death where she fought for her life,” said Mr Grehan.
“There’s no doubt Ana Kriegel did not simply succumb into unconsciousness.”
By Alison O’Riordan and Eoin Reynolds
The grandfather of Boy A, who was convicted of the murder and aggravated sexual assault of Ana Kriegel, told the Central Criminal Court his grandson was “incredibly remorseful” about what happened to the teenage girl and wished it never occurred.
Taking the stand, the boy’s grandfather said he had “sincere and utter sympathy” for the Kriegel family and could not imagine their loss.
“The death of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare, especially given the horrific circumstances of Ana’s death,” he said.
“Having listened to Ms Kriegel, who spoke so elegantly and passionately, what I have here does not go close to what she said about Ana and the consequences of her death.”
Boy A’s paternal grandfather said he wished to express the family’s “sincerest regret and remorse” and said he knew the teenager was “incredibly remorseful for what happened” and wished “it never occurred”.
The man said his grandson loved practical subjects such as art, science, woodwork, and metalwork, and nothing pleased him more than preparing detailed drawings and making models.
“I am personally heartbroken that my much-loved grandson could have been involved in something like this,” he said, adding that his grandchild was a loving, caring, and kind child, who never showed aggression or ill-temper.
He said Boy A was much loved by his parents and grandparents.
“There will be a major gap in all our lives without his constant presence,” he said.
“Our lives have been turned upside down, all going through huge emotional turmoil and loss.”
In summary, the man said he will support his grandson in any way that he can, now and in the future.
“I hope to have ongoing positive involvement with his rehabilitation and development,” he said.
Earlier, the court heard Boy A admitted choking Ana and hitting her with a stick and a concrete block but continues to deny sexually assault.
Detective Inspector Mark O’Neill told Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for the DPP,that, since his conviction, Boy A, who during his trial denied assaulting Ana, has been the subject of reports by psychiatrists and psychologists.
As a result of those, Det Insp O’Neill said Boy A has accepted that he caused Ana’s death.
The witness agreed with Mr Grehan that Boy A “described various actions including headlock, choke hold, kicking, hitting her with a stick and ultimately a block, which he either threw at her or hit off her head on three occasions.”
However, the inspector said Boy A maintains he did not sexually assault Ana and “puts forward an alternative explanation” for the forensics found at the scene.
During the trial, it emerged that Boy A’s semen was found on Ana’s top and there was evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.
Inspector O’Neill also told the hearing that gardaí found evidence that the boys planned Ana’s murder.
This article was amended on 1 November 2019.