Teenage murder accused set up by other boy, jury told

One of the boys on trial for allegedly murdering Ana Kriegel was “set up” by the other boy accused of her murder, a jury has been told.

In his closing speech, Damien Colgan SC, who represents Boy B, said the case against his client does not add up “in any shape or form”.

He also told jurors at the Criminal Courts of Justice that there is no evidence to convict the accused of murder.

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

Two 14-year-old boys, who cannot be identified due to their age, are standing trial accused of her murder.

Boy A has pleaded not guilty to murder and sexual assault “involving serious violence” of the schoolgirl.

Boy B has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Mr Colgan told the court that Boy B said to a friend that Boy A had “snaked him and gone behind his back to set him up”.

“And that’s exactly what happened. (Boy B) was set up by the accused,” Mr Colgan added.

The prosecution claims that Boy B lured the schoolgirl from her home to meet Boy A because she was “interested in him”.

“This case does not add up in any shape or form,” Mr Colgan added.

He said the prosecution is relying on lies told by Boy B during gardai interviews.

The senior defence barrister claimed that Boy B was afraid of Boy A.

He added that he saw something that “no 13-year-old” should see.

“You have two different versions of who he is,” he added.

“You have members of the gardai telling you that he is bright and clever, articulate, perhaps one of the brightest.

“His father tells you he was a 13-year-old who likes Transformers and collecting Pokemon cards and watching cartoons and hanging around with his sister rather than older brother.

“He was a child who he thought he knew what friends were.

“What person in their right mind would go to someone’s house, a house where he is known, and then seen crossing the park knowing that this girl will be dead in 25 minutes.

“That’s what the state is asking from you, that this 13-year-old, whether perhaps naive or immature, does this.”

He told the jurors to look back to when they were in school and dealing with people who they thought were friends.

“Think of the fears you had as a child, the fear of parents, priests, school children, or gardai,” he added.

“You have to think back to old times, to what it was like.”

He said that Boy B did not appear to be streetwise and that he did not use a smartphone.

“There is no evidence that you can convict him,” he added.

“If you think you believe what he said, that he didn’t know what was happening to Ana, and there was no plan or preparation, well that’s the end of it.”

The defence lawyer representing Boy A said there was no evidence he intended to kill Ana.

Patrick Gageby SC told the jurors that the case against his client was almost “entirely on circumstantial evidence”.

He also said that Boy A came from a family of hardworking people, adding that there were no drink or drugs problems.

Mr Gageby told the jury to be cautious about evidence from Boy A’s phone which showed a video of torture methods.

“Is there any 13-year-old whose media would sustain prolonged scrutiny? I would suggest there is not,” he added.

“There is no evidence that he had a desire to kill anybody. The two witnesses who heard him say he wanted to kill someone, it was a figure of speech.

“No-one gave evidence that he wanted to kill Anastasia.”

He said that there is nothing adverse known about Boy A and that he did not come from the type of home that gardai called to.

“It’s hard to identify any motive, any motive to kill at all,” he added.

“Perhaps that’s why prosecution and investigators were so keen on these unusual aspects, a couple of bits and pieces from the internet and bits from the phone and homework, to make something more meaningful about it.

“It’s hard to identify the massive planning which of course there must have been, or the format of the event, particularly after the event.”

He said that gardai had fixed ideas on what was searched for on his phone and what it meant.

Mr Gageby added that they had “tabloid views” on some matters.

He told the jury: “It’s not a case anyone would desire to decide but you have to decide having taken on board what I have said.”