Murder of Ana Kriégel
18 February 2004
|Cause of death||Blunt force trauma to the head|
|Body discovered||17 May 2018|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
Anastasia "Ana" Kriégel (//; 18 February 2004 – 14 May 2018) was a Russian-Irish girl who was subject to a violent attack, murdered and sexually assaulted in an abandoned house late May 2018 in Lucan near Dublin. Two boys, known only as Boy A and Boy B who were 13 years old at the time of Kriégel's death, were convicted of her murder, with one of the boys (Boy A) being further convicted of aggravated sexual assault. The two convicts are the youngest in the history of Ireland to be charged with murder.
Anastasia (Russian: Анастасия) was born in Novokuznetsk, Russia in 2004 and placed in an orphanage. In 2006, she was adopted by Geraldine Kriégel and her French-born husband Patric Kriégel and came to live in Ireland. Though her parents had no cultural links to Russia themselves, they tried to make sure she kept connections with Russian culture, such as keeping her original given name. They lived on the Newtown Park housing estate in Leixlip, County Kildare.
Growing up in Ireland
Kriégel was said to be happy during most of primary school, despite some health issues, such as a tumour that had to be removed from her right ear, which left her nearly deaf in that ear. She also suffered from sight problems. She struggled to make friends at the secondary school she attended, Confey College. She was suspended for painting a black eye onto herself; her mother thinks that the painted eye was an expression of the pain she felt inside. She suffered from bullying, and self-harmed on one occasion in 2017. Some of the bullying began before she started secondary school with online bullying about her height and the fact that she was adopted. Some of the bullying messages were of a sexual nature. She also set up fake social media accounts to "bully" herself. After this, her mother insisted that Ana gave her the passwords to all her apps, so her mother could check them.
On 14 May 2018, Ana attended a counselling session. She went home from school, changed out of uniform and walked to Leixlip town centre. She came back and went up to her room before the child later known as Boy B called to the Kriégel home at 5.00pm. This was unusual; Ana's mother Geraldine recalled that Ana had no friends and that "nobody calls for Ana."
Ana was last seen at 5:30 p.m. in St Catherine’s Park.
Discovery, investigation and trial
Ana Kriégel's body was found on Thursday, 17 May 2018 in Glenwood House, a derelict James Gandon-designed 19th-century farmhouse, located in the townland of Coldblow west of Lucan. She was naked except for socks and her clothes were found scattered in the house. Her death was caused by blunt force injuries and bloodied pieces of wood were found in the house. There was also signs of sexual assault and blue Tescon building tape was found around her neck.
Two local boys, both aged 13, immediately came under suspicion. As minors, they cannot be named in the media and are known in reports as Boy A and Boy B. They were the youngest people in the history of the Republic of Ireland to be charged with murder.
Both were charged with murder; Boy A was additionally charged with aggravated sexual assault. Both charges carry potential life sentences for adults, but these are not mandatory for children. Their trial began in the Central Criminal Court on 29 April 2019.
The two accused were found guilty of murder on 18 June 2019. The jury had deliberated for over fourteen hours. After the verdict, Mr. Justice Paul McDermott thanked the jury members and relieved them from jury duty for the rest of their lives.
Prosecuting counsel said there were places available at Oberstown Detention Centre. The judge remanded them in custody and adjourned sentencing to 15 July. Sentencing was further adjourned to October in order that psychological assessments could take place.
A number of posts appeared on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook that identified the two boys despite a court order being made preventing this. An injunction was served on Twitter and Facebook to remove all of these posts.
The sentencing took place on 5 November 2019. Boy A was sentenced to life with a review period after twelve years for her murder. Additionally he was sentenced to twelve years for aggravated sexual assault. This sentence is to run alongside the murder sentence. His co-accused, known as Boy B, was sentenced to fifteen years for Ana’s murder. This will be reviewed after a period of eight years. Outside the court, Ana's father Patric said "forever is not long enough" in response to the sentences.
Tributes and public reaction
Ana Kriégel's funeral took place on 31 May 2018 at Newlands Cross Crematorium, Dublin. Her family requested that mourners wear "sparkle and colour" in Ana's memory, and that donations be made to the Russian Irish Adoption group. A Russian flag and matryoshka doll were placed on her coffin.
After the trial, her parents spoke outside the court. Her father said "Ana was our strength." Her mother said "Ana was a dream come true for us and she always will be. She will stay in our hearts, forever loved and forever cherished. We love you Ana."
A charity to help other teenagers was set up in her honor by Ana's family with the Russian Irish Adoption Group (RIAG), and called ANA (Ana’s Network of Adolescents).
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