Ana Kriegel case: Three people who posted information online about accused boys win High Court challenge

Three people accused of breaching publication restrictions during the trial of the murder of teenager Ana Kriegel have won a High Court challenge over the handling of their cases in the District Court.

The three, who are among 10 charged with similar violations under the Children’s Act 2001, were initially told the charges against them could be tried in district court, where penalties are less severe.

However, another judge ruled that the offenses were too serious and they should be tried before a judge and jury in the district court, where penalties are more severe.

As a result, the three raised a High Court challenge to the second judge’s decision.

Ms. Judge Siobhán Phelan ruled that the matter should be referred back to the District Court for reconsideration.

Two boys, referred to as Boy A and Boy B, were convicted of the May 2018 murder of Ana Kriégel at a disused farmhouse in Lucan, Dublin, following a 2019 court hearing.

Young A was sentenced to life in prison with a 12-year review and eight years for aggravated sexual assault.

Boy B was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, to be reviewed after eight years. He has appealed his conviction.

After the boys’ trial, Edel Doherty, 48, of Rory O’Connor House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin, came before Dublin District Court accused of posting photos of the convicted boys on Facebook.

Kyle Rooney, 26, from Rathfield Park, Raheny, Dublin, has been charged in connection with posting photos of the two boys on Twitter.

Declan Corcoran, 30, from Williams Place Lower, Dublin, has been accused of tweeting the boys’ names.

All three came before district court in October 2020 when Judge Brian O’Shea, after hearing the alleged facts about each defendant, determined that the cases were amenable to trial at the district court level, where penalties are lower. The DPP had agreed to a trial at the district court level.

A conviction in the district court for violating reporting restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to €1,500 or imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both. In Circuit Court these penalties increase to as much as €10,000 or three years imprisonment or both.

Judge O’Shea adjourned the cases so the defendants could decide whether to plead guilty or have a hearing in the district court.

However, when their cases returned to court on December 2, 2020, District Judge John Hughes sat and ruled that the charges were not minor in nature and unfit for trial in the district court’s summary jurisdiction.

Judge Hughes made that decision despite objections from defense attorneys.

The three have made separate High Court challenges to the decision claiming a district judge and cannot review or reconsider the jurisdictional issue until the court actually hears the case.

It has also been argued that Judge Hughes did not elaborate on his reasons for his decision.

The DPP, as respondent, opposed the challenges, inter alia, on the grounds that the judge was entitled to reconsider the question of jurisdiction notwithstanding the decision of another judge.

Ms. Justice Phelan reversed Judge Hughes’ decision and returned the matter to the District Court for reconsideration.

She said the way Judge Hughes approached the issue of jurisdiction was unfair because he did not address the three cases individually or acknowledge the differences between each of the three cases.

There is no problem with a judge’s power to decline jurisdiction even though a colleague has already accepted it, she said.

She remanded the cases to the district court for the defendant to plead guilty or to have a hearing.

However, she stressed that she does not rule out a jurisdiction review by the district judge, who will deal with them next time. Ana Kriegel case: Three people who posted information online about accused boys win High Court challenge

Fry Electronics Team

Fry is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button