‘Chilling’ zombie-type mask found in backpack of teenager accused of murder

The trial of two 14-year-old boys accused of murdering Anastasia Kriegel has heard how a zombie-type mask was found in the backpack of one of the defendants.

The schoolgirl’s naked body was found in a derelict house in Lucan, Co Dublin days after she went missing last year.

Both boys have pleaded not guilty to the 14-year-old girl’s murder.

Boy A also pleaded not guilty to the aggravated sexual assault of the girl. The boys cannot be identified because of their age.

On the first day of the trial at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for the State, said that gardai searching for Ana in May last year found her body in the derelict farmhouse.

Anastasia Kriegel
Anastasia Kriegel

Her body was naked except for socks on her feet and a ligature around her neck, which was made from “distinctive builder’s tape”.

Mr Grehan said: “The scene was bloody and blood-spattered. Some of her clothes which were forcibly removed were scattered around a small room.”

State pathologist Marie Cassidy said that Ana died from severe and extensive injuries to her head and neck.

The injuries also suggested attempted penetration of her vagina, the court heard.

It was concluded that Ana had been violently assaulted in the room where she was found and that there had been a struggle.

Ana had been reported missing four days earlier on Monday May 14 by her mother and father.

She was last seen by members of her family when she left her home with boy B, who faces a single charge of murder.

After several unsuccessful attempts to contact Ana, Mrs Kriegel went searching for her daughter and later reported her missing to gardai at about 9pm.

Anastasia Kriegel
Anastasia Kriegel

Gardai went to the home of boy B, who she was last seen with.

Mr Grehan told the court that he provided gardai with first of “many different accounts”.

“Significantly, he did not mention his friend (boy A) at this stage,” he added.

It was not until the following day that he told gardai he called for Ana on behalf of this friend.

“He said he knew Ana was interested in (boy A) and suggested the purpose of the meeting was that he could tell Ana he was not interested in her.

“(Boy B) was aware that Ana had expressed some interest in (boy A) on a previous occasion.”

Boy B told gardai that after a short conversation, Ana left the area and went in one direction while he and boy A went in a different direction.

“Gardai made contact with (boy A) and his parents and he had a somewhat different account of having met her, and did not suggest there was some arrangement,” Mr Grehan added.

“Both boys were asked to point out what routes they had taken.

“Divergences began to emerge between what they said to gardai on one occasion and another.”

The jury will view CCTV images of Ana’s last movements, the court heard.

Mr Grehan also told the court that witnesses claimed they saw boy A limping with blood on his face and clothing shortly after 5.30pm on the day Ana went missing.

Boy A claimed to friends and his parents that he was attacked by two men. He later repeated these claims to gardai and also made a statement.

“He (boy A) said he was mugged by two older people in the park. Gardai had investigated this allegation,” he added.

The State prosecutor told the court that these injuries were instead caused by a struggle with Ana in which he “sexually assaulted” her.

“This was a made-up story about attackers having caused the injuries,” he suggested to the court.

Mr Grehan said the State’s case relies on lies boy A told about where he last saw Ana, as well as a “compelling forensic” case based on objective scientific evidence of DNA.

“It will be alleged he was connected to the scene by male DNA found on her neck and on the tape around her neck and on semen found on her top, located in the same room her body was found.

“In addition, it will be alleged that various items from (boy A’s) home connected to him also connected him to Ana’s murder.

“These include the contents of a distinctive backpack he was seen carrying. These include gloves, knee pads, shin guards and, most chillingly, a home-made zombie-type mask.

“There is no explanation consistent with innocence to explain these objective scientific facts.”

He said the legal basis against boy B is somewhat different.

“He aided and abetted the murder of Ana. He assisted or helped it to happen, knowing what was going to happen,” the prosecutor added.

“That is, he lured Ana from her house to meet (boy A) knowing that she would want to meet him and knowing her meeting in some romantic way was not the purpose at all, knowing they were not going to the (area) but were going to meet him at a dirty, dark, derelict house, that he or (boy A) made sure was empty before handing Ana over to (boy A), knowing preparation was made as to what was to happen using the builder’s tape to make a ligature around her neck, and voyeuristically watching her murder and sexual assault, participating in the cover-up afterwards, lying repeatedly to gardai and others about what he saw, knew and did.”

He also told the court that boy A and boy B were good friends, if not “best friends”, at he time of Ana’s murder.

He said that Ana found her teenage years difficult, that she was bullied and had difficulties settling in to her new school.

“She dressed and acted differently from others her age and engaged in some attention-seeking behaviour and wanted to be noticed,” he added.

“She craved friends and friendship, and for that reason she was vulnerable and an easy mark for someone to take advantage of.”