Tuesday 21 January 2020

Court was heavy with anticipation as clerk stood to give verdicts

Ana's parents speak outside court. Photo: Collins Courts
Ana's parents speak outside court. Photo: Collins Courts

The jury had barely returned from lunch and gone back to its deliberations when word filtered out that a verdict had been reached.

Court nine filled up with 20 media reporters, gardai and both boys' legal teams.

It was three minutes past two.

Boy A came into the court with his family and they took up their usual position on the bench at the back of the courtroom.

Sitting at the back of the court with his mother to his left and his father to his right, his mother took a tissue from a packet and pushed it delicately into her son's light blue shirt pocket.

As they came back into the court, Boy B sat between his parents. His mother sat to his right and his father to his left.


Boy B linked his mother's arm, holding her left hand with his right and rubbing her left arm with his left hand.

At 2.11pm the jury filed back into the courtroom and Boy B reached his left hand over to his father and held his hand, continuing to hold his mother with his right hand.

The room was heavy with nervous anticipation as the court clerk stood up and addressed the jury.

Boy A held both his parents' hands as they awaited the verdict.

His mother cried freely with a tissue to her face as the guilty verdicts for her son were announced.

Boy A leaned his head on his mother's shoulder and he held both his parents' hands following the guilty verdicts.

He cried quietly sitting between his parents.

After a few minutes of absorbing the reality of the guilty verdicts, they all then embraced each other before Boy A left with his father, mother and legal team.

He held his father's hand as the doors closed behind him.

When the verdict of murder was read out for Boy B - seconds after that of Boy A - he momentarily let go of his parents and brought his hands up to his mouth.

There was a look of disbelief on his face. His father looked into the middle distance and said quietly "guilty" as if to ask the question: was it true?

The jury looked ahead or at the judge after it had delivered its verdict.

The members of the jury did not look at the boys or their families.

The Kriegel family sat quietly and composed. Geraldine, who had her eyes closed prior to the verdict, cried quietly, as did Patric.

Then Boy B's father held his son's hand to his mouth for a few moments, fingers entwined, and kissed it.

Moments later he grew angry and started muttering and abruptly left the court for five minutes, coming back then and holding his son's hands.

When the judge had finished he began to verbally abuse gardai.

"You bunch of scumbags, you f**king pricks. Innocent boy," he was heard to say.

Boy B hugged his mother in a long embrace as Boy A was led to a consultation room holding his father's hand.

Tears flowed quietly down his cheeks as his mother held him tightly.

The Kriegels looked up at the jury as they filed out, nodding in acknowledgment to its members.

Some of the jury offered quiet silent smiles of warm comfort.

Then the Kriegels huddled with their friends, crying with dignity and relief.

As Boy B was led to the holding cell his father clapped loudly four times slowly.


The Kriegels hugged gardai and some members of the media as they left the court.

Their growing relief was evident as they became emotional.

They were then led protectively to an upstairs room by victim support services.

Two hours later they emerged. Looking composed and supportive of each other, they held hands in unity as they left the court flanked by their friends and supporters.

"Ana was our strength," said Patric, and then turned to his wife Geraldine.

"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," she told waiting reporters.

Silently, the Kriegels then walked to a waiting car before being driven away.

As young teenagers all over the country start their summer holiday, with their lives ahead of them, two boys who will forever be known as Boy A and Boy B were being taken to detention.

Boy A is guilty of murder and aggravated sexual assault; Boy B is guilty of murder.

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