Ireland’s youngest killers, 15, sentenced for Ana Kriegel murder

Ireland's youngest killers have been detained for the murder of schoolgirl Ana Kriegel.

Two 15-year-old boys – known as Boy A and Boy B – were found guilty in June of murdering the 14-year-old.

The schoolgirl's naked body was found in an abandoned farmhouse in Lucan, Co Dublin, last May after she had been reported missing by her parents.

Boy A was sentenced at Dublin's Central Criminal Court on Tuesday to life, with a review period after 12 years.

He was also convicted of aggravated sexual assault and will be placed on the sex offenders register.

Boy B was sentenced to 15 years' detention, with a review after eight years.

After the sentences were handed down, Ana's father Patric said justice had been served.

Flanked by Ana's mother Geraldine, Mr Kriegel said: "Justice has been served for Ana. The judge has decided on the sentence, and that duty lies with him alone. For our part, we can only say that forever is not long enough.

"Please remember Ana and keep her in your hearts somewhere."

Ana, a first-year student, suffered horrific bullying and was endlessly tormented in the months leading up to her death in May 2018.

A post-mortem examination found she suffered head and neck injuries and there had been attempted penetration of her vagina. Her body was found with a ligature wrapped around her neck.

Semen staining on a top found at the scene where the schoolgirl's body was discovered contained the DNA of Boy A.

Both boys maintained their innocence throughout the trial.

Boy B eventually admitted to police that he had been asked by his friend to bring Ana to meet him, knowing she had had a romantic interest in Boy A, and later admitted he had seen Boy A attack Ana before running away.

Judge Justice Paul McDermott described this as a "point of distinction, that he (Boy B) did not personally physically assault the deceased".

"Boy B has been convicted on his willingness to procure the deceased, the jury was satisfied in what he was doing he was a key factor in the successful completion of the crime," he said.

Both boys have been granted lifelong anonymity due to their age.

Geraldine Kriegel said her 14-year-old daughter was 'too good to be true' and was kind to everyone (Family Handout/RTE Prime Time)

Sentencing the boys at Dublin's Central Criminal Court on Tuesday, Mr McDermott said: "The denial of Ana's right to life is at the core of the process, she should and no doubt will be remembered as a child, friend, daughter and sister that she was.

"Her precious right to life entitled her to live it to full potential, with fun, imagination, dancing music, a lovely and loving child in a loving family.

"She hoped for a wider circle of friends, growing up with some difficulties along the way, but full of variety, of potential and aspirations.

"Her family are bereft, the joy and security of the Kriegel family shattered in the most cruel circumstances.

"The evidence given by Ana's mother set out to me, and all who heard it, the deep joy brought to her and her father Patric, I listened to and read her evidence and nothing could be added to the simple sad truth of what she told us, there is no solace for them in this process.

"Ana's murder has resulted in a lifelong sentence for them compounded by the manner of its occurrence."

Speaking directly to both boys, Mr McDermott said: "Boy A, you took Ana Kriegel's life and subjected her to a terrifying sexual and physical assault in doing so.

"Boy B, you actively participated in her killing.

"You will both have to carry the guilt and shame of your involvement and the devastation you wrought upon her family for the rest of your lives.

"Her family must bear their grief for the rest of their lives.

"When released, you can reconstruct yours in a positive way, I hope you take it and build towards that in your time in custody.

"A second chance you both so wrongfully denied Ana Kriegel."

Both boys have been in custody since the guilty verdict in June, in Oberstown detention centre in north Dublin, and will remain there until they are 18, before being moved on to an adult facility.

Last week at a sentencing hearing, the court heard Boy A has since accepted he caused the death of Ana by attacking her with a stick, brick and wrapping a cord around her neck.

He still denies the sexual assault.

When sentencing Boy A, Justice McDermott said the boy "carried out the attack in the most appalling way", with "extreme mental, physical and sexual abuse", and "showed little remorse" for the crime, with an enormous level of culpability despite his young age.

"He was mature enough to comprehend what he was doing at the time and caused Ana's death from head injuries and choking, in which she was completely defenceless."

Parents Patric and Geraldine Kriegel, unveiled a bench in her memory at the Leixlip Manor Hotel, Co. Kildare (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr McDermott added that Boy B still does not accept the verdict, however probation and psychological reports show that he has "some degree of shame".

"I'm not satisfied he told the full story," Mr McDermott said, adding Boy B told "blatant lies" to police, adding he was "a very intelligent boy, his intelligence apparent in how he sought to deceive gardai".

He said the murder had been "planned with a high level of violence and terror for the victim", in which "a 14 year-old girl was subject to an appalling level of violence despite pleas to stop".

Speaking after the sentencing, Ana's mother Geraldine Kriegel thanked all those who had supported their family.

She said: "We would like to express our extreme gratitude to Mark O'Neill and his team and An Garda Siochana who have put everything they had into finding those responsible for Ana's murder.

"The legal team, the jury and the judge, the media for being so understanding, the victim support unit, our family, our friends and our neighbours.

"Thank you to all of the wonderful people out there that supported us and kept us going."

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