Two 14-year-old boys have become the youngest in Irish history to be convicted of murder, after luring a schoolgirl to a derelict house in Dublin last year before she was sexually assaulted and killed.
One of the boys – who was referred as “Boy A” throughout the six-week trial of Ana Kriegel’s murder – was found guilty by a jury at Central Criminal Court Tuesday of aggravated sexual assault, according to Britain’s Press Association (PA) news agency.
Both boys, who were 13 at the time of the crime, pleaded not guilty of murdering Kriegel, according to CNN affiliate, Ireland’s Virgin Media One. They have been granted anonymity due to their age.
Kriegel had been lured from her home by “Boy B” on May 14, 2018 and told that Boy A wanted to meet her at the park, Virgin Media One reported. It’s believed Kriegel was dead within 45 minutes of leaving her home. Her body was found three days later.
The 14-year-old schoolgirl was found naked with extensive injuries to her head and body, as well as a ligature around her neck at an abandoned farmhouse in the suburb of Lucan, the TV channel reported.
According to PA, former state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy identified 50 areas of injury and concluded Kriegel’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
CCTV showed Kriegel walking to the park with Boy B, according to Virgin Media One, and Boy A was later seen around 5:30 p.m. limping with blood on his clothes and face.
Kriegel’s parents, Patric and Geraldine Kriegel, had told the court that the 14-year-old had been bullied at school and that her mother was “immediately concerned” after she found out her daughter had left with one of the boys, according to PA.
Following the six-week trial, the jury – made up of eight men and four women – deliberated for 14 hours and 25 minutes before handing down their guilty verdict on Tuesday, PA reported.
Kriegel’s parents told media afterward that their daughter had been their “strength.”
“Ana was a dream come true to us and she always will be,” her mother said. “She will stay in our hearts forever loved and forever cherished. We love you, Ana.”
Life sentences are not mandatory for children, Virgin Media One reported, adding that the trial judge can exercise discretion to the structure of the boys’ sentences. Both will appear again in court next month on July 15.