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Boy B pins hopes on top law firm for appeal over Ana's murder

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Ana Kriegel

Ana Kriegel

Ana Kriegel

A boy appealing against his conviction for the murder of 14-year-old Ana Kriegel has hired the law firm which successfully defended former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick against criminal charges.

The teenager, known as Boy B, sacked his old legal team and is now being represented by Michael J Staines and Company, one of the country's leading criminal defence firms.

His decision to change legal teams meant his appeal, which had been due to get under way on April 24, had to be postponed to a later date.

The solicitors' practice has been involved in several high-profile cases in recent years, including the trial of Mr FitzPatrick on charges of hiding loans from auditors.

It also represented former Anglo chief executive David Drumm and acted for Patrick Quirke, the farmer jailed for the murder of Bobby Ryan, the part-time DJ known as 'Mr Moonlight'.

Derelict

Another high-profile client is mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor. The firm represented him when he was wrongly accused of fathering a love child.

Boy B was one of two teenagers found guilty of the murder of Ana in a derelict farmhouse two years ago today.

He was given a 15-year sentence, to be reviewed after eight years.

While he did not assault Ana, he led her to the derelict farmhouse in Lucan, Co Dublin, where she was sexually assaulted and murdered by another teen, known as Boy A.

Both boys were 13 at the time and are the youngest people in the history of the State to be convicted of murder. Neither of them can be named.

Boy A was sentenced to a life term for murder and will serve an initial 12 years, followed by a review which could see it extended.

While Boy A denied murder and sexual assault at his trial, a court has heard how subsequent to being convicted he accepted that he caused Ana's death.

However, Boy B has maintained his innocence. A court heard he did not accept the jury's verdict.

Boy B is seeking to appeal against his conviction only, meaning no appeal is being sought against the severity of his sentence.

His grounds of appeal have yet to be revealed.

However, it is thought they could include a decision by the trial judge to exclude evidence from a clinical psychologist.

Boy B's then legal team unsuccessfully sought to introduce evidence from the psychologist that the teen was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the assault on Ana, and that there was an explanation for lies he told gardai.

Both boys are being held at Oberstown House detention centre in north Co Dublin, where they will remain until they are 18 when they will join the mainstream prison system.

Although they were friends up to the point of Ana's death, it is understood their relationship with each other has strained and they are not close any more.

Children locked up in Oberstown are not referred to as 'prisoners', but 'young people in conflict with the law'.

The emphasis is on education and the campus more resembles a high-security school than a jail.

While a lot of the children in Oberstown come from broken families and have a history of behavioural problems, Boy A and Boy B are from stable backgrounds and had never been in trouble with the law before.

Suddenly the authorities had to consider the implications of mixing two educated boys from stable family backgrounds who were convicted of the most serious of crimes with a cohort of teens, many of whom had the common bond of behavioural difficulties and being from less stable homes and education.

Oberstown was built to detain children who are often guilty of violent crimes but it was not originally envisioned that there would be many killers in its classrooms.

Last month the two teens were joined at the facility by another boy, now 17, who received a life sentence for the murder of 20-year-old college student Cameron Blair.

Stabbed

Cameron was stabbed in the neck outside a house party in Cork city last January.

Another boy, now 17, was sentenced to 11 years last November for attempted murder after he lured a woman he met on a dating site to an isolated area at the seafront in Dun Laoghaire in December 2017 and slashed her neck with a knife.

Oberstown House is also where another 16-year-old boy, who is charged with the murder of father-to-be Glen Osbourne in Ballybough last month, is on remand while awaiting trial.

Boys A and B stuck out like sore thumbs at Oberstown in the beginning.

Although they were never troublemakers in Oberstown themselves, they were initially the focus of some taunting and hassle from others but they have now been accepted by the other young offenders.