Boy B, one of two teenagers convicted of murdering 14-year-old Ana Kriégel, has withdrawn an appeal against his conviction.
The appeal was scheduled to start on Wednesday but at a brief hearing the boy’s lawyers told the three-judge Court of Appeal that their client no longer wishes to go ahead with the hearing. Mr Justice John Edwards, presiding, asked Boy B directly if he had consulted his lawyers, if he understood the implications of a decision to withdraw and if it was his wish to have the appeal withdrawn. “It is,” he replied.
This was the first time Boy B had been inside a courtroom since he was sentenced in 2019. Now, having turned 18, he sat for the first time in the dock rather than the body of the court.
Had Boy B’s appeal gone ahead and resulted in his conviction being overturned, it is likely that he would have been retried as an adult. If convicted again of murder, he would potentially have faced the mandatory life sentence for adults convicted of murder.
James Dwyer SC, for Boy B, confirmed that there is no appeal against Boy B’s sentence of 15 years’ detention with a review after eight years. Mr Justice John Edwards said that that concludes matters and offered his condolences to the Kriégel family, some of whom were in court.
Boy B was 13 years old when he lured Ana to a derelict house where his accomplice, named only as Boy A, beat her to death and sexually assaulted her. Boy B is now 18 years old but he cannot be named due to an order made by the judge who oversaw his trial at the Central Criminal Court.
At a previous hearing in the appeal court Boy B’s lawyers applied for permission to introduce fresh evidence that was not heard at the trial. James Dwyer SC, for Boy B, said that two eminent child psychologists had examined Boy B’s garda interviews and found the “mind of Boy B was substantially overborne” by the interviews.
The Court of Appeal refused to allow the fresh evidence, saying it was “pretty remarkable” that lawyers were now looking to introduce something that was never an issue in the trial.
Brendan Grehan SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said at that earlier hearing that the evidence in the trial showed that Boy B lured Ana Kriégel from her home under the guise of a “romantic encounter” with Boy A.
He took her to a “dirty, dark, derelict house” where he knew preparations were in place for their arrival. He had provided builder’s tape which was used during the strangulation of Ana and “voyeuristically watched as Boy A beat and sexually assaulted Ana Kriégel and took part in an extensive cover-up afterwards.”
He then lied repeatedly to gardaí and others and “did it all in circumstances where he admitted that Boy A had expressed an intention of killing Ana Kriégel a number of weeks previously.”
When approached by gardaí after Ana went missing Boy B initially denied any knowledge of what happened to her and over the following weeks during multiple interviews gave different accounts of what he had done and seen.
In his final interview, having been arrested for a second time, he admitted to seeing Boy A assault Ana and remove some of her clothing but denied that he played any part in her murder.
His lawyers argued at his trial that he was an innocent bystander. The jury accepted the prosecution’s case that Boy B lured Ana to the house by telling her that Boy A wanted to meet her, knowing that Boy A intended to kill her.
He watched as Boy A, who was dressed all in black and wearing a ghoulish mask, shin guards and knee pads, sexually assaulted Ana having dragged her to the ground where he beat her repeatedly with a piece of wood and a large block. In his garda interviews Boy B also admitted that Boy A had previously told him that he wanted to kill Ana.
Boy A and Boy B were convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury in June 2019 of murdering Ana at a derelict house in St Catherine’s Park in Lucan in May 2018. Both boys were 13 at the time of the murder.
Boy A was also convicted of Ana’s aggravated sexual assault in a manner that involved serious violence. Boy B was sentenced to 15 years’ detention, to be reviewed after eight years.
Boy A was sentenced to life imprisonment with a review after 12 years, and eight years imprisonment for aggravated sexual assault. No appeal has been lodged on Boy A’s behalf.