A Waterford woman who is accused of sharing pictures of teenage boys convicted of the murder of Ana Kriegel despite specific court instructions forbidding such actions, will appear in Waterford District Court on December 10 for plea or hearing.
Rebecca Ryan (aged 25), of 31 Priory Lawn, Ballybeg is charged with two offences under the Children Act that prohibits the identification of minors accused or convicted of a criminal offence.
She did not appear in Waterford District Court this morning due to Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.
Outlining the details of the case, Detective Garda Niall Carolyn stated that on June 18, 2019, two male juveniles were convicted of the murder of Ms Anastasia Kriegel. Throughout the trial, and after their conviction, Judge Paul McDermott ordered that no material that could lead to the identification of any child concerned in the proceedings should be published.
In the days after the conviction of Boy A and Boy B, a number of online postings came to the attention of Gardaí, including an alleged Twitter post by the accused Rebecca Ryan. The tweet contained both text and images depicting the two boys convicted of Ms Kriegel’s murder.
The text above the images, allegedly written by Ms Ryan, stated “Here’s Boy A and Boy B the two murdering bastards”. Ms Ryan allegedly made a reference to the fact that the boy’s identities were being protected and then ended the tweet with the hashtag #JusticeForAnna.
The image allegedly posted by Ms Ryan was one that appeared on a number of platforms and was a cropped photo with other youths, whose faces were scribbled over. The two boys were highlighted with red circles and the letters ‘A’ and ‘B’ identifying them.
Investigating gardaí deemed the post to be a breach of a court order and, after Ms Ryan was identified as the author of the post, she was questioned by investigating gardai on July 2, 2019.
Defending solicitor, Hilary Delahunty, stated that the defendant had no previous convictions and the post in question was one of a number that were published by several different people. Det. Gda Carillon confirmed that this prosecution was the first of a number that were to follow.
Mr Delahunty stated that it was his impression that Ms Ryan had retweeted someone else’s post and it wasn’t an original post. Det. Gda Carillon said that the images had been taken from Facebook and posted in a separate post on Twitter by Ms Ryan. He said that it was something that was done in the “heat of the moment”.
Judge Kevin Staunton said that the case in question “couldn’t have been more serious” and if you stopped anyone on the street, they would know what case was being referred to.
Judge Staunton said:
“Even in the absence of a direction from a judge, I don’t know how anyone could think that it would be alright to do this. In this case, there is a specific direction from the judge saying that this wasn’t to be done.”
The case was adjourned to December 10 for plea or hearing.