The late Ana Kriegel
Geraldine Kriegel, mother of Ana Kriegel, read a victim impact statement on behalf of herself, her husband Patric as well as Ana's family and friends at the sentencing hearing of the two boys convicted of her murder.
The happiest day of our lives was the 10th of August 2006, the day the court declared that we could become the parents of Ana, who we felt was, the most wonderful child in the world. We agonised, for so many years, through a laborious adoption process, waiting for her and when she came she brought to us everything that we had dreamed of for all those years and much more. She was wild and wonderful, electric, so full of fun, madness and laughter.
We could not believe the happiness and joy we had found in our lives. She was the love of our lives and every single night before she went to bed, she told us that she loved us too. Every night she came to kiss us and she said, always in French: 'Bonne nuit, dors bien, fais de beaux reves, je t'aime' - 'Good night, sleep tight, have beautiful dreams, I love you.' She cannot do that anymore and we cannot tell you how badly it hurts.
On Monday 14th May 2018, Ana didn't come home. The cold fear we felt knowing she was in serious danger, knowing that something or someone prevented her from coming home to us. We knew she would never stay out without permission. She would never hurt us. The panic, the dread, the agonising with, the hours that turned in to days. We didn't know where she was or what had happened to her. But somebody did. [Ms Kriegel looked down at the two boys as she said this]. The saddest day of our lives was 17th May 2018 - three days later we heard those dreaded words that no parent wants to hear. We are so sorry.....Our precious little girl's body had been found. The depth of pain and haunting nightmares that we live with following the formal identification of Ana in such traumatic and horrific circumstances. There is no way to describe how that feels.
We brought Ana to live in a safe place, a quiet country village, a leafy suburb, where the only sounds in the morning are the doves cooing. No-one could suspect the evil that lay in waiting for her. No one could anticipate the darkness that swirled in the souls of those that murdered and violated her. How could any child or even any adult imagine, in their worst nightmares, the danger that lay ahead? She wanted to live but she was not permitted to do that. Our lives are destroyed by what happened to Ana. We cannot look at a group of teenage boys in the same way ever again. That cold fear hits and brings all the horror back. Imagine the terror. Imagine the pain she suffered. That will live with us - all our lives.
We lie awake at night thinking about the fear she felt when she realised she was going to be killed. We pace the house at night agonising about the torture she went through, the horrendous pain she suffered, the sadistic violation if her beautiful pure and innocent body. To think that she was left to rot in that squalid hell hole, for over three days. It is unbearable. It's inhuman.
The whole family and friends suffer so terribly, every day and every night, with the agony of knowing now, in the most explicit detail, what Ana was subjected to and knowing that her private life along with the distorted misrepresentation of her by a twisted mind with tainted eyes, have been displayed on every TV station and newspaper in Ireland and across the world. She was just a little girl with so many hopes and dreams and so much love inside her that she shared generously with all who knew her. Her dream was to build a hotel called "The AnaLove Hotel". She drew detailed floor plans and we, her parents, would have a special cottage on the land where we could spend holidays and be near her. Her plans, our future, shattered.
Her little sisters, aged 10 and 6 are devastated that they never got to meet their big sister. She was to meet them, for the first time ever, this year and we had to deliver the heart-breaking news to her birth family, that they will never ever see her. When she had written to them previously, she said in her own words: "I am so afraid that I will never meet you." Her fear was warranted. She never did. They cried and cried. They will never feel her warm hugs and loving kisses or see her dance so elegantly or hear her infectious laughter and we will never experience that joy again. Never, ever, again will we share the beautiful life we had with Ana. We have lost our child and the children she dreamed of having. Our grandchildren.
There are no words.
What words can describe how we feel at the loss of our wonderful little girl. She loved her life. She embraced all of the wonderful experiences life brought her. She was so kind to everyone. The pain of living without her is unbearable. There is such emptiness in our lives without her. Life without Ana is no longer nor is it even an existence - it is a misery that we must endure for rest of our lives. We have lost our precious daughter and every family occasion without her is entrenched with pain and sorrow.
How can there by any solace in this conviction for any of us? Ana's death is irreversible.
Shortly before she died she made a video, on her snapchat story, as she walked to school with her school mates. She said, I quote: "I love you guys so much, in fact I love all first years." Such was the big heart Ana had and she genuinely shared it with everyone.
At the start of secondary school, she was asked to write a paragraph on her hopes for the future. This is what she wrote: "My hopes for the future - I hoped I would get into secondary school (she names the school), and I did, that is one goal down. My second hope is to go to Paris University, like my dad, the hardest one to get into and when I come home from Paris I would like to get a dog, I would like to get married too, not sure I want any babies, well, not yet anyway. I hope that I have a good life. I hope everyone I meet will be nice."
We always felt that Ana was too good to be true. An ephemeral angel, in our hearts and in the hearts of the people of Ireland and Russia, with love forever.
We are a broken family. Our heartache for you Ana. So many of the people in Ana's life are traumatised and suffer nightmares, stress and anxiety, not just adults but children who are not only traumatised but in fear for their own lives. Ana is lost to all of those people that loved her. Remember how much she loved you and hold on to that love in your hearts.
Thank you Ana for giving us all of that precious love.
We miss you.
We love you.
No one can ever take that away from us.