As children and young people return to education, they will be met by new influences, ideas, and practices ~ some of these are harmful to them. If you haven't started already, please start your conversations on accessing pornography online and on Smartphones. 82 per cent of boys of 11-12 years access pornography online.
This is a truly serious state of affairs, and for their long-term mental health and social interactions, it needs to be stopped.
As you discover 11-12-year-old boys are accessing pornography online. This may come as a stunning fact to many who are unaware of what is available to children and young people online via Smartphones and laptops.
Under the Section 'CYBER-BULLYING', below, I have added details of the case of 14-year-old Ana Kriégel, murdered on 14 May 2018 by two 13-year-old boys. This case includes one of the accused boys having many thousands of pieces of violent pornography, and a young girl who was 'bullied relentlessly'.
This is a very unusual case. 13-year-old boys rarely murder. However, we do need to be aware of what is happening in the lives of our teenagers. At the end is the piece, "Ana Kriégel murder trial: The complete story" by Conor Gallagher, Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times, which is well worth reading and a chilling insight into the possible consequences of boys and young teenagers watching violent pornography.
In the mix of Garda interviewing, evidence, and the court case ~
Ms Ana Kriégel must never be forgotten as the much loved and loving daughter, niece, cousin, and friend.
Also very dangerous, and greatly to the detriment and harm of mostly early teenage boys to young men, and then to the girls and young women they know, is how they may come to view and compare themselves, and other young people, as a consequence of now frequent visits by large numbers of 13-17 year old boys / young men to pornography sites.
It is considered around 82 per cent of boys from the age of 11 to 12 upwards, are viewing pornography regularly, and use it to learn how to interact with girls.
They usually start watching at around 11-12 years-of-age.
It's considered around 82 per cent of Irish boys have viewed pornography by this age.
I knew Richie Sadlier was due to start a monthly Column in the Health Section of The Irish Times. The headline below could not have been more timely, and the article is a must-read for all parents, guardians, and carers, teachers, and anyone who works with young people, or who happens to be in their company regularly.
"Richie Sadlier: Talking with teenage boys about porn, drink and suicide
"The psychotherapist and former pro soccer player kicks off a new monthly health column in The Irish Times."
Go to www.irishtimes.com, to find his Column; he is also available on Facebook and Twitter. This is exactly what teenage boys, young men need and, of course, girls and young women also.
The low status of girls and women boys and young men learn, through watching pornography - dictating how to think what is appropriate to women and girls - their perceived lack of a girl's / woman's personal integrity - and a presumption of their constant sexual availability - are likely to cause confusion at the very least, in the REAL world, and certainly likely to cause offence and, possibly, result in violent incidents.
Teenage boys and young men may have a very confused idea of consent. They think they have to be told "No!" for consent to be denied. Someone unconscious drunk or on drugs cannot say "No!", and that lack of simplicity can lead to very strange, unhappy, and dangerous misconceptions.
Richie Sadlier was interviewed on the RTÉ 1 television programme, the Ray D'Arcy Show, on Saturday 06 January 2017, Episode 13.
Go to https://www.rte.ie to search for the programme from abroad.
Go to https://www.rte.ie/player/gb/show/the-ray-darcy-show-30003587/10825024/ to view it within the Republic of Ireland.
Please don't think your brother, son or nephew, would never do this kind of thing!
All young people are curious.
This is a very warped way to learn about personal relationships.
ONLINE PORN AND OUR KIDS:
IT'S TIME FOR AN UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION
Children viewing endless, sexually explicit, violent material shouldn’t be inevitable.
Sat, July 27, 2019, The Irish Times
As a parent, it is hard not to wonder exactly what you’re doing when you put a Smartphone into your child’s hands for the first time.
This isn’t going to be easy reading. These are things that are difficult to talk about, difficult to think about.
The boy was 14 years old when his mother walked into her sitting room to find him abusing his younger sister. She was eight. He was copying things he had seen on Pornhub, he would later tell Gardaí.
At the Central Criminal Court earlier this year, the now 16-year-old pleaded guilty to five counts of oral rape and 44 counts of sexual assault of his half-sister. He was ordered by Mr Justice Michael White to live away from his mother’s home as part of a suspended sentence.
Earlier this month, another case was before the same judge involving a child sexually exploiting other children. This time, the accused boy told Gardaí he “became obsessed with sex”. His lawyers said he had begun looking at porn online “at a very young age”.
This case, the judge said, was the fourth he had personally dealt with, in which “young children have committed the most serious offences”, starting with “exposure to pornography on Smartphones”.
“It is very serious and a matter of great concern,” he said. The kind of offending the court is seeing “goes way beyond consensual sexual experimentation”.
As a parent, it is hard not to wonder exactly what you’re doing when you put their own Smartphone into your adolescent’s hands for the first time.
Fabian Thylmann isn’t exactly a Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerberg. He’s not a household name. But he’s arguably having an even more profound impact on the lives of our children. In 2007, the reclusive engineer brought the world what it hadn’t yet realised it desperately wanted: free streaming porn.
In 2017, the journalist Jon Ronson outlined some of the social costs of this then decade-old experiment in his brilliant podcast series, The Butterfly Effect. Erectile dysfunction in young men, he found, was up by 1,000 per cent since Thylmann introduced free streaming porn. In one episode, he interviews an autistic boy who tried to interact with a girl he liked by texting her things he’d heard men say in porn videos. It didn’t go well: the boy ended up on the sex offenders’ list.
Today, many counsellors and psychologists have similar stories of children who mistook porn for real life, with catastrophic results.
So What are Parents to Do?
Some try to hold back the tide, and refuse to give into Smartphones for as long as possible. My 13-year-old has an old-fashioned Nokia brick.
The rest fall roughly into two groups, divided along either side of what researchers in the US call the “parental naivety gap”.
On one side are the ones who give their child a Smartphone for their Confirmation / in their early teens, and try not to think too much about what they might do with it. ‘My child wouldn’t’, they say optimistically. ‘I know my son’. ‘My daughter’s not like that’. ‘He wouldn’t’. ‘She won’t’.
On the other are those who take a more pragmatic approach. They don’t love the idea of their children accessing porn, but they’re not sure there’s much they can do about it. So they hand the phone over, install the parental control filters that they know their children will figure out a way around, and save the pin code. Porn, they shrug in private conversations with their friends, is inevitable. It’s part of growing up.
But Here’s the Thing
Sexual curiosity is normal. Children being eager to find out what all the fuss is about is normal. But children viewing endless, sexually explicit, and often violent, material shouldn’t be inevitable. And in our efforts to be realistic and grown-up about this, we may be in danger of normalising something that is not normal.
Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), Simon Coveney, recently said the ease of access to online pornography was “a worry for every parent in the country”.
“The days of self-regulation of the internet is over,” he added, leading to suggestions that Ireland might move to block unrestricted access to porn, as the UK is attempting to do.
Some experts believe it’s too late to turn back the tide of free streaming porn; there is, they say, no technological solution capable of stopping what Fabian Thylmann started.
But it isn’t too late to have uncomfortable conversations with our children about the messages they get from porn: such as the message that all women are always available for sex at all times with any man. That women like men who are forceful or even violent. That “no” often means “yes”.
[See the next Section for ideas for how to make these conversations less uncomfortable and more successful.]
Now when we talk about sex, we need to talk about porn, respect, consent, sexuality, body image and boundaries.
We don’t need to terrify them into believing watching porn will ruin their lives, destroy their relationships and warp their libidos, maybe, but we do need to talk about it.
It sometimes feels as though, lured by the promise of (Convenience? Security? Connectivity? A quiet life? Not having to say “no” when every other parent in your circle is saying “yes”? All of the above?) we have unthinkingly signed our children up to a social experiment. And we’re only beginning to witness what happens what the experiment goes horribly, unimaginably wrong.
[The emboldening, underlining, and highlighting of text and headings, use of colour, italics and enlarged headings, were added by me. I also made a few changes to the text to facilitate those not au fait with Irish political titles, etc. ICOB.]
The Article below is quoted from The Irish Times of Sun, Dec 17, 2017, Roe McDermott's Column.
LIFE & STYLE - Health & Family - Parenting
"How do I talk to my teenage sons about pornography?"
"I don’t want to ignore the issue but I’ve no idea how I’m supposed to raise the topic."
"Having these conversations with your children isn’t going to just teach them about pornography; they’re going to teach your children how to be mindful, critically engaged, empathetic, and self-aware."
"I’m the mother of two boys, ages 13 and 15. I’m constantly reading and hearing about how young men are exposed to pornography at a young age, and how it causes issues regarding how they view sex and women. I don’t want to ignore the issue but I have no idea how I’m supposed to raise the topic with my sons, or what indeed I should say. Do you have any advice on how to tackle this?"
"You’re right to want to address pornography with your sons. Too many parents are aware of the potentially damaging messages that young people can receive from pornography, but refuse to open up a dialogue with their children about it. It’s vital to teach your children that sex and sexuality aren’t shameful and – like anything else – they are allowed ask questions about it, in order to learn.
"Of course, sometimes you won’t have all the answers, but it’s then that you can turn to trusted educational resources – together. Being part of your children’s education process around sex means that not only are you aware of what they’re learning, you’re also showing them that in your home, education and information are empowering forces.
"By remaining silent and refusing to acknowledge the existence of pornography, you’d be teaching them not to talk about sex, not to ask questions, not to communicate about it.
"You’d be teaching them that your embarrassment is more important than their education and empowerment. You’d be teaching them that sex is uncomfortable, and that discomfort trumps everything else, including their wellbeing."
Roe McDermott is a writer and Fulbright scholar with an MA in sexuality studies from San Francisco State University.
She is currently undertaking a PhD in gendered and sexual citizenship at the Open University and Oxford.
[The emboldening, colouring, and highlighting of text and headings, use of italics and enlarged headings, were added by me, ICOB.]
IT IS SO EASY FOR A YOUNG PERSON TO GET CAUGHT UP
'HORAN JAILED FOR COERCING GIRLS TO SEND SEXUALLY GRAPHIC PICTURES'
Sometimes a court case comes along and a whole nation may be held transfixed in horror at the terrifying experiences of the children involved, and the realisation amongst many parents, guardians, carers, and teachers, that they really do not know what's going on in the lives of their children, and that many do not understand the reach of a Smartphone or Tablet, and other such devices.
Dublin man’s computer had recorded Skype calls between him
and two nine-year-old girls
The Irish Times, Fri, Jan 26, 2018.
Reporters Declan Brennan, Aoife Nic Ardghail
See https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/circuit-court for full text.
A Dublin man who possessed thousands of child pornography images and coerced young girls to send him sexually graphic pictures and videos of themselves has been jailed for seven and a half years.
Matthew Horan (26) used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik ~ an anonymous instant messaging application, to send and receive child porn images from six identified child users in Ireland and nine unknown users around the world.
A forensic examination of Horan’s computer uncovered recorded Skype calls between him and two nine-year-old-girls, both individually and together. The recordings included footage of these girls engaging in graphic sexual acts.
Horan also took part in sexually explicit text conversations with the girls, during which there was an exchange of photos.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Horan would use Kik to share child porn images and videos with unidentified users around the world, most of whom claimed to be young teenagers.
Threat to Share Images
He threatened to share an 11-year-old girl’s nude images to her social media accounts if she didn’t send him further graphic photos.
In the text exchange between them, this girl repeatedly told Horan she would kill herself. He continued to coerce her to send more images, the court heard.
Horan pleaded guilty to a count each of sexually exploiting two girls within the State on dates between April 1st and November 23rd, 2014.
He pleaded guilty to two more counts of sexually exploiting a child and one count of distributing child pornography on dates in 2015. He further pleaded guilty to possessing child porn at his address on July 11th, 2015.
He pleaded guilty to three further counts of sexually exploiting female children through Snapchat and Instagram in the State on dates between May 21st, 2015 and July 7th, 2016.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing child porn on a Sony mobile phone at his home on July 7th, 2016. He has no previous convictions.
Judge Nolan ... said ... "the crimes were all committed for Horan’s indulgence and pleasure and Horan had exploited children in a most horrible way".
He said Horan’s actions would have long-term effects on the victims.
“He knew what he was doing was wrong. He understood the damage and yet he didn’t stop what he was doing,” he said.
[All text in italics is copied from The Irish Times online Articles. Addition of colour, of emboldened text and headings was done by me, ICOB.]
LET US USE THE ABOVE TO LEARN AND TEACH
The above are edited elements of the coverage of the trial which I hope would be of general use to children, young people, and the adults in their lives, as an introduction to the topic of staying safe online, on Tablets, Smartphones and other devices.
I suggest that all parents, guardians, and carers (PGCs), grandparents and any significant adults who play a large part in children's, youngsters' and young adults' lives, read ALL the various articles listed in this Post.
If a child or young teenager has heard of the case, and wants to know more, reading through the articles together would be useful for both the adult and the child or young person.
I suggest the adult should read through first, checking the meanings of any technical terms, or any everyday terms that had never seemed so scary previously.
The adult would feel more confident about being able to answer possible questions. Once armed with information, I believe the PGCs, and other significant adults, should start a conversation at a quiet, relaxed time, about the court case, asking if the youngster has heard anything about it.
It may have been huge in Ireland, but people overseas will be unaware of this court case, and the public's memory fades.
While bearing in mind that this case focused on young girls, and that boys are equally at risk, I suggest putting these horrible experiences to a positive use, as the basis for study by families, classes, and all students, to check that everyone knows what to look out for, and what to do if there is a fear that personal information has passed to another.
The situation of the young girls would bring both empathy and determination out in children, youngsters, and young people. No-one would want to go through their experiences, and they are easy to imagine.
I believe having prepared a child by saying what you are about to read with him or her is upsetting, but very important to know about - the adult should just jump in, and trust to his or her relationship with the child, and that any worried questions shall be answered.
Take your time. Take opportunities to ask if he or she understands what has happened so far. It doesn't have to be done all in one evening - it's more important that all the information available and required is mined.
Be ready to answer questions over weeks and maybe months. That would be a very positive sign. This is a very big subject, and realisation will hit the young in sudden moments, and after consideration. Those are the times when question might be formulating to be asked.
We need to stay alert, and ask if there are any questions or suggestions the child or young person wants to put.
It's easy to become complacent, thinking one knows what's going on.
This story brings out all the fear and urge to protect in any adult.
Don't worry If something comes up that you, the adult, hasn't checked - you should just say straight out, that ~
"I don't understand that, but we'll find out the meaning. We're both learning a good deal of new and really important information because of the bravery of those girls - and pretending we know something when we don't, is not good for either of us. Information is Power!"
It's a truly shocking case, and sometimes
we need a jolt to get motivated.
‘So if you go out and both get drunk you can’t have sex?
That’s f**ked up’
Richie Sadlier and Elaine Byrnes discuss consent with transition year boys.
The Irish Times, 08 April 2019.
Richie: Does anyone in the class have any idea how they might explain consent to someone?
Joey: Just tell them that no means no.
Elaine: Okay, but remember the absence of a no doesn’t mean the presence of a yes. Silence isn’t consent.
Johnny: But if someone isn’t giving any indication they’re not consenting, how are we meant to know?
Shane: You’d see it on their face.
Johnny: Yeah but let’s say the room is dark?
Shane: You’d know by their body language. They’d be frozen stiff or something. Ah, you’d know.
Paulo: Yeah but they could just be really rigid and shy, or quiet. What’s the difference?
Shane: Ah there’s a difference.
Johnny: Yeah but how are we meant to be sure?
Harry: You could ask them straight out if they’re up for it.
Elaine: Yes! And don’t be afraid to be really specific. Communication is everything when it comes to consent.
Gareth: Okay, what are you meant to say? “Am I raping you or not?” [Room laughs]
Richie: Well that might kill the mood a little. Maybe think of other ways to phrase it, but checking to make sure they’re comfortable and enjoying themselves is not a bad thing.
Johnny: Yeah but I heard that if the girl is drunk and even if she says that she’s enjoying it at the time, it’s still rape. Is that true?
Richie: Well the legal definition of rape is penetrating someone without consent. A person incapacitated through drink or drugs would be considered too wasted to give consent. So yes, if she’s drunk, you’re vulnerable in the eyes of the law.
Johnny: That’s f**ked up! So if you go out and you both get drunk you can’t have sex? Isn’t that, like, 90 per cent of how people have sex in Ireland? Get drunk first and then shag?
Neil: Yeah, sure everyone drinks.
Richie: I don’t drink.
Gareth: Yeah, but we’re not trying to have sex with you.
Richie: Nobody is saying you can’t have sex. The law says if your partner is heavily intoxicated, though, they can’t give consent. That’s the definition that matters in the courts. And this isn’t just about penetrative sex. We’re talking about all sexual behaviours.
Johnny: Yeah but what’s the difference between normal levels of drunkenness and being too drunk? How can you tell?
Elaine: Anyone? Where exactly is the line?
Joey: Well if she can’t remember anything that happened, she’s obviously too drunk.
Paulo: Yeah but you won’t know that til the next morning. How are you supposed to know there and then.
Richie: Anyone? Where exactly is the line between normal drunk and way too drunk?
Joey: If she’s slurring her words, she’s obviously too drunk.
Thomas: Everyone slurs their words when they’re drunk. You’d never have sex if that’s where the bar is.
Joey: I’d say if she’s falling around, or her balance is all over the shop, then she’s too drunk.
Thomas: That happens to everyone, too.
Luke: Yeah but what if you’re the same amount of drunk – how are you meant to notice?
Richie: Not sure I follow. Say a bit more...
Luke: Well you’re saying all men should know when a woman is too drunk to have sex...
Richie: Actually, we never said that. We just stated what the law says. We didn’t specify gender either.
Luke: Okay, fair enough, but you’re basically saying men should be the ones to stop everything if the girl is drunk, even if the girl is saying at the time that she wants it.
Elaine: That’s not what we said either.
Luke: Okay but what I’m saying is – if both people are the same amount of drunk – how are blokes expected to be all responsible and stop what they’re both doing? They’re out of their heads too, remember. It’s f**ked up that in those situations the bloke is the one who can be accused of rape. That’s what I’m saying.
Elaine: Anyone got anything to say to that?
Johnny: Luke’s right. The law is bulls**t. Why are men the ones who have to take responsibility for the woman’s drunkenness?
Bobby: That’s not what the law says. Listen to what they’re saying. It just says there’s a point where someone can be too out of it to give consent, so even if they say yes, you should still walk away.
Richie: It doesn’t say walk away. It’s making you aware that being intoxicated can influence a person’s body language and facial expressions, even their words. It’s up to you to know how to behave if you’re ever in that situation. And remember, the law only becomes a consideration if there’s an allegation. I don’t want you to get the impression that any woman that has sex while drunk – even if she can’t remember every detail – will automatically go to the gardaí. I’m just saying you should always take responsibility for your own actions in this area.
Gareth: Yeah but you’re kind of saying we should take responsibility for the girls drinking too, like we have to be the ones to make decisions on their behalf. I’m a feminist, you know. What about equality? [Room laughs]
Richie: I don’t think that’s what I’m saying.
Conor: It basically is, though. Let’s say we’re the same level of drunk, you’re saying the girl’s words – her saying yes – don’t count if she was hammered, but the bloke’s actions – penetrating her – does. Is that not bulls**t?
Richie: Don’t you think drunken people should be offered some protection by the law? There are loads of cases where really drunk people have been taken advantage of by people who knew that what they were doing was wrong at the time.
Conor: Yeah but they’re scumbags. We’re not. We’re just trying to get laid [room laughs]. You’re making out, okay, sorry – the law is making out – that there’s a higher standard of behaviour on us lads. That’s bulls**t.
Elaine: I suppose what we’re saying is how important respect is when it comes to consent. Respect for yourself and respect for others. So, just to keep that in mind – you being drunk or the other person being drunk doesn’t change that.
Leo: If a girl is hammered, though, shouldn’t the conversation be about why she’s hammered? You’re telling us to be responsible when it comes to alcohol and drugs, why shouldn’t women be held responsible too?
Richie: Lads, men can be raped too. This isn’t a man / woman thing. The law is there to protect everyone.
Conor: Okay, but I read about this bloke that was accused of rape and he didn’t do it and the girl just got away with making it up and now his life is ruined.
Richie: I don’t know the details of that one, obviously, but everyone in the world is vulnerable to a false allegation. Men and women, remember. Any time you’re ever in a room alone with someone they can accuse you of anything, so everyone is vulnerable to that. It’s worth being pretty selective who you go into a room alone with if that’s your concern.
Leo: Yeah but why does everyone automatically believe the girl? You look on social media and everyone assumes the girl is right and the bloke’s reputation is ruined. Since #MeToo nobody believes blokes anymore.
Richie: That’s not a reflection of how the courts generally see it. Have you seen the conviction rates compared to the number of reported rapes? Anyone know roughly how many rapes go unreported?
Johnny: But a man’s life is ruined if he’s accused.
Richie: How would you compare that to the experience of being raped and not believed? Or being raped and not even reporting it cos you think you won’t be believed?
Richie: Let me ask you this way – if you came to me this morning and said you had been raped last night, would you want me to believe you? [Room laughs] No, seriously, let’s move away from the notion that women are the only victims of rape here.
Leo: Well obviously, yeah.
Richie: Okay, and let’s say it happened while you were at a party with a load of older blokes and you were drunk. Would you want people to say it was your fault cos you were drunk? Or that you should have known better than go to a house with older lads or some s**t like that?
Leo: Obviously not, no.
Richie: So why did you say we should discuss the woman’s drinking if she was drunk?
Richie: Sorry lads, we’re out of time here. Anyone got anything to say before we finish up?
Elaine: So would it have been enough for us to just say to you all that no means no?
[Lots of heads shake]
Elaine: And if we asked any of you to explain consent to someone now, what would you say?
Gareth: I’d tell them to never drink and stay a virgin cos it’s not worth the f**king hassle. [Room laughs]
Richie and Elaine: See you next week, lads.
Richie Sadlier and Elaine Byrnes deliver a six-week module in sexual health to transition year students in St Benildus College, Kilmacud, Dublin. The names of the boys, listed above, have been changed.
I know this conversation was on the matter of 'sexual consent', but I found it sad and depressing that these young men, and the young women in their lives, feel a need to be well oiled with alcohol prior to having sex. Is there still such a strong unspoken guilt connected with having sex, or do they need to be drunk to have the courage. Surely sex when sober and able to appreciate every detail as it happen, and also able to remember it all the next day, should be a goal for everyone. The age of consent to engaging in a sexual act in the Republic of Ireland is 17 years. ICOB.
[The colour, emboldening and highlighting of text and headings, and enlarged headings, were added by me, ICOB.]
Please See LUKE Culhane's video on YouTube entitled
'Cyber Bullying: Create No Hate'
which went viral. Luke's video recounts his own experience of being bullied on-line.
Every PGC and teacher needs to make themselves knowledgeable about this pernicious type of bullying.
PGCs have to take on the responsibility of learning about cyber-bullying, and then make sure their offspring also know about it, and know they should tell as soon as anything nasty happens on-line.
WHAT DO PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND
CARERS KNOW ABOUT CYBER-BULLYING?
HAVE PGCs made themselves aware of the ubiquitous nature of cyber-bullying, and how extremely damaging it is to any child, young person, or adult?
Go to www.webwise.ie for advice for PGCs, teachers, and anyone who should make him or herself knowledgeable on cyber-bullying.
PGCs cannot leave this job to teachers and the school.
Our children's and young people's welfare have to be our priority - please take this issue seriously. Young people can become isolated, may self-harm and, in some cases, take their lives.
Some truly cannot live with the constant bullying.
See LUKE Culhane's video on YouTube entitled
'Cyber Bullying: Create No Hate'
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT VIEWING FOR ALL PGCs, YOUNG PEOPLE, AND CHILDREN.
Luke was named the 2016 "Child of the Year" / 'l'enfant de l'année 2016', by French newspaper 'Mon Quotidien' for standing up to cyber-bulling.
Cyber-bullying can happen to anyone on a seemingly random basis. Frequently, young people keep it to themselves ~ they do not tell PGCs and, often, not even their best friends. The results of this COWARDLY bullying can be appalling for everyone in the family, not just the selected victim.
PGCs REALLY NEED to find out about this pernicious activity; when they have informed themselves, they will have a better idea what to look out for in their young people and children.
A conversation on the whole topic with everyone present, would make the subject easier for everyone to ask about and talk about. Show Luke's YouTube video, even young children will be able to understand its message, and it would be a good starting point for your conversation.
14-year-old Ana Kriégel was Murdered on 14 May 2018
by Two 13-year-old Boys
14-year-old Ana Kriégel was lured by Boy B, and brought to meet Boy A on 14 May 2018, she was viciously sexually assaulted and murdered. On Tuesday 18 June 2019, Boy A was found guilty of the murder and aggravated sexual assault of Anastasia Kriégel, the registrar announced. Boy B was found guilty of her murder.
The forewoman confirmed these were unanimous verdicts.
The legal age of criminal responsibility in Ireland is 12, but this drops to 10 when rape or murder is alleged. At 13, Boys A and B became the youngest people in the history of the State to be charged with murder. Their sentences will be handed down in July.
UPDATE 15 July 2019: The sentencing of the two boys convicted of the murder of 14-year-old Ana Kriégel has been adjourned to October 2019 because psychological assessments of the teens have not been completed.
Minors are not named in trials and there has been furore over the address of Boy B and other identifications appearing on Facebook and Twitter.
Ms Kriégel had a staggering number of injuries. During the trial Dr Cassidy, now retired State Pathologist, spent about 40 minutes just listing the 50 injury sites. There were bruises and lacerations all over the body the most serious to Ms Kriégel’s head, face and neck.
Boys A and B were excused from the Court for the Pathologist's evidence.
Ms Kriégel's parents sat through every minute of the trial, and gave evidence on what their daughter was like, what she enjoyed, and how she was subjected to frequent bullying, face-to-face and online.
Born in February 2004 in Novokuznetsk, an industrial city in western Siberia, Ana was adopted and brought to Ireland by Geraldine and Patric Kriégel in 2006. She was their first child.
Ana’s resource teacher in junior school told Geraldine and Patric she was terrified for her, because she was so innocent. She feared other students would take advantage of this.
The parents met early with the management of the secondary school to highlight their concerns about Ana being a potential target for bullies.
In fact, the bullies didn’t even wait for her to start school. During the Summer after sixth class Ana was bullied online by third-year students who sent her sexually suggestive messages.
Much of the bullying was about her height. Ana was “a typical Siberian”, her mother would later say in court, strong and tall. By the time she was 13 she was 173cm, or 5ft 8in, tall. “She looked much older than her years,” her mother said. “She could have passed for an 18-year-old.”
The bullies also mocked the fact that she was adopted, telling her she had a “fake mam and dad.”
That Halloween, Ana came home hysterical and terrified. She had been walking back after supervising a disco for young children (“she volunteered for everything,” Geraldine said) when four boys approached. One asked her repeatedly for sex before hitting her on the backside. A complaint was made to the Garda, and the boy received a caution.
Pornography on Boy A's Mobiles
As part of the assault investigation Gardaí had also taken Boy A's mobile phone. On it they found more cause to suspect he was behind Ana’s death. The phone contained a screenshot of a list of YouTube videos, including “The 15 most gruesome torture methods in history”, “Horror films that will blow everything away” and “Until Dawn – Get Jessica’s clothes off”; Until Dawn seemed to be a reference to a popular horror video game. There was also a result for Jeff the Killer, a widely shared short story about a teenager who murders his family.
An examination of two further phones found in Boy A’s bedroom revealed almost 12,500 images, the vast majority of which were pornographic. One featured a man in a balaclava looking at a semi-naked woman; another showed a man choke a woman as a second man watched.
The phones’ memories showed several pornographic videos had been accessed online, including one with a title referring to a woman called Anastasia. Another referred to Russian teens.
Perhaps even more concerning was evidence of searches for “child porn”, “horse porn” and “dead boy prank in abandoned haunted school”.
When the trial started, the following year, none of these details of pornography were heard by the jury.
Please see "Ana Kriégel Murder Trial:
The Complete Story"
by Conor Gallagher in the next Section.
It gives a vivid insight into Ms Kriégel's loved and loving, generous, artistic, nature.
Articles follow from daily newspapers covering the disclosure of the names and addresses of Boys A and B via social media and the attitudes of the Courts, in particular, the views taken of the Facebook and Twitter platforms.
Facebook removes content identifying boys found guilty of Ana Kriégel murder
Confirmation comes from Company after it and Twitter ordered to Court over identification of Boy A and Boy B.
Wed, Jun 19, 2019, The Irish Times.
Eoin Reynolds, Laura Slattery
Facebook said as soon as it became aware of content identifying two boys who were found guilty of murdering Ana Kriégel on its platform on Wednesday morning, it removed it. It said in a statement on Wednesday evening that it also used photo-matching technology in a bid to prevent this content from being shared again.
“As soon as we became aware of content identifying Boy A and Boy B being shared on Facebook this morning, we removed this content immediately for violating our Community Standards and local law,” it said in a statement. “We also applied our photo-matching technology to prevent this content from being re-shared on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. We will continue to remove this content from our platforms,” it added.
A spokeswoman for Twitter said: “We have an established line of communication with An Garda Síochána and are in direct contact with them on this issue.”
Their statements came within hours of a judge at the Central Criminal Court ordering representatives of Twitter and Facebook to appear in Court on Thursday. The order was made after it emerged that social media users had identified the 14-year-old boys despite an order by the trial judge preventing their being named and a provision under the Children Act that prohibits the identification of minors accused of or convicted of a criminal offence.
The judge warned it is an offence to publish anything identifying the two boys convicted of Ms Kriégel’s murder and anyone who does so will be “treated in the most serious fashion”. Brendan Grehan SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Wednesday raised a concern with Mr Justice Michael White seeking an order for Facebook and Twitter to remove from their platforms any material identifying the boys.
Making the order, Mr Justice White issued a “trenchant warning” to any individual who decides to try to identify the boys, saying they will be subject to a contempt of court application and “will be treated in the most serious fashion”. Mr Grehan said the Court had “unlimited powers” of detention and fine for anyone found in contempt of court.
Mr Justice White said the trial was a particularly sensitive one and nobody could be under the illusion that publishing the identities of the accused was not prohibited by the Children Act.
Mr Grehan raised the issue, saying that lawyers for Boy B had contacted the DPP’s office and alerted them to images published on Facebook alongside derogatory comments.
Counsel said some of the commentators seemed to be aware that there was an order made to protect the boys’ identities. Mr Grehan said the individuals who published the photographs could be identified but the images had been shared and it was not yet clear to what extent. He said it is the DPP’s view that the owners of Facebook and Twitter had a responsibility in respect of the matter and the DPP was seeking an order against those platforms directing them to remove photos or any other material that would identify either of the boys.
The boys, identified in the media only as Boy A and Boy B, were convicted of murdering Ana Kriégel on May 14th last year. Boy A was also convicted of Ms Kriégel’s aggravated sexual assault in a manner that involved extreme violence.
State may examine laws on children accessing porn, after Ana Kriégel trial
Leo Varadkar says Government may review effectiveness of UK online safety measures
Wed, Jun 19, 2019, The Irish Times.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said, ‘It is a concern that pornography is so accessible to young people.’
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan plans to hold discussions with his British counterpart in relation to new laws introduced in the UK which aim to block children from having access to online pornography. “I am very keen to look at international best practice to be best informed,” he told The Irish Times, adding that he will pursue the matter with the UK home and justice secretaries. Under plans due to come into force in the UK next month, an age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18. These include uploading a passport or a driving licence. Mr Flanagan’s comments came after two 14-year-old boys were found guilty of murdering schoolgirl Ana Kriégel.
In the Dáil, Labour Party leader, Brendan Howlin, referenced the murder and the new laws due to come into force in the UK. ... It is up to professionals to assess the impact of such material on impressionable children, but we can clearly and unambiguously say that this material should not be accessible to children.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a review could take place in time to see whether the new UK law is effective. “The UK law is relatively new, and we do not yet know whether it will be effective,” he said. “We should learn from other jurisdictions and (Mr Howlin’s) suggestion is appropriate in that regard.”
Mr Varadkar said it was a concern that pornography “is so accessible to young people. And indeed, so many young people learn about sex through pornography which is not an accurate representation of what is healthy in life”.
The Taoiseach pointed out that Minister for Communications, Richard Bruton, is, separately, bringing forward an Online Safety Bill as part a plan to protect children online.
“It will put new requirements, including an online safety code, on online platforms and prohibit cyberbullying of minors and harmful material such as that which promotes suicide, self-harm, bulimia or anorexia,” he said.
“There will also be an online safety commissioner, who will certify that the codes are fit for purpose and who may have the power to order take-down in certain circumstances.”
A public consultation is currently underway in relation to that Bill and after this process, legislation will be brought to the Oireachtas Committee on Communications.
Order in Kriégel case appears to treat social media firms like publishers
Facebook and Twitter representatives to appear in court over anonymity breach.
Thu, Jun 20, 2019, The Irish Times.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has previously conceded that while Facebook did not ‘produce’ content used on its platform, it was responsible for it.
The naming of the boys convicted of murdering Ana Kriégel on social media is the latest in what is now a familiar phenomenon of widespread breaches by internet users of court orders prohibiting the identification of certain individuals. Mr Justice Michael White’s “trenchant warning” to those who try to identify the boys was, on this occasion, backed up with the more unusual move of ordering representatives of Facebook and Twitter to appear in Court on Thursday 20 June 2019.
The order is significant because it appears to treat the two social media companies in the same way that, for example, a radio station would be treated if a caller was to violate an anonymity order on air and it was unable to prevent this from being broadcast.
Silicon Valley’s social media giants have long maintained that they are not publishers, but technology companies.
Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, told a Senate hearing in Washington last year that he viewed Facebook “as a tech company, because the primary thing that we do is build technology and products”. The definition helps his company avoid regulations that apply to publishers in various jurisdictions.
However, Mr Zuckerberg also conceded that while Facebook did not “produce” content, it was responsible for it. In practice, social media companies have been obliged to accept responsibility on a string of content matters over the years, with Facebook hiring tens of thousands of human moderators to remove harmful and / or unlawful content.
On some occasions, this content has been seen to proliferate much faster than Facebook, Twitter and other platforms such as Google’s YouTube have taken action or been capable of doing so.
Facebook said it was using photo-matching technology to prevent posts identifying the two boys from being re-shared on its platform, its Messenger service, or on Facebook-owned Instagram. The social media firm said it had taken down content identifying Boy A and Boy B “as soon as we became aware of it.” “We removed this content immediately for violating our community standards and local law,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.
The view of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), as stated by Brendan Grehan SC in court on Wednesday, that the platforms, and not merely the individuals who use them, have a responsibility in respect of court orders, is likely to be closely watched by legal systems outside the State.
Kriégel case: Gardaí launch investigation into online identification of Boys
Court hears another boy was wrongly identified as being one of the 14-year-olds.
Thu, Jun 20, 2019, The Irish Times.
Social media companies have been removing images that purport to identify the boys convicted of murdering schoolgirl Ana Kriégel from their platforms.
Gardaí have launched an investigation into the circulation of images that claim to show the teenage boys found guilty of the murder of Ana Kriégel. The images were circulated despite a court order being in place preventing the 14-year-old boys being named and a provision under the Children Act that prohibits the identification of minors accused or convicted of a criminal offence.
The Garda team based in Lucan, Co Dublin, that investigated the murder is now investigating whether the social media postings have broken the law. The inquiry is likely to make use of specialist Garda units and is likely to seek the assistance of Facebook and Twitter in identifying certain account holders, a source told The Irish Times.
Earlier on Thursday, the Central Criminal Court was told a boy was wrongfully identified on social media as being one of the 14-year-olds responsible for the murder of Ana Kriégel.
Representatives of Twitter and Facebook appeared in Court to answer charges of contempt following the publication of the Boys’ pictures. The Court, which had issued a temporary injunction against Facebook and Twitter to prevent the social media companies hosting material that identifies the two convicted boys, heard other children have also been implicated online.
Barrister Shelley Horan, representing a school that cannot be identified, also told Mr Justice Michael White a staff member of the school had been targeted, and comments about the trial posted on the school’s Facebook page.
The school cannot disable the comments and has to get Facebook to do so. The page is very important to the school, Ms Horan said.
Damien Colgan SC, for the family of Boy B, said publication of material online that identified him had “forced the family into hiding”, while Andrew McKeown, for the family of Boy A, said some of the tweets posted on Twitter included both the boys’ names and their images.
The publication was against a background of a “detritus of threats” against the boys’ families, including an image of the “fate that the user believed needed to be meted out to the two boys,” he said.
Rossa Fanning SC, for Facebook Ireland Ltd, and Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, for Twitter International Company, argued it was not practicable for the companies to be ordered to prevent people posting material that identified the two Boys. However, both companies were very anxious to remove such material once it came to their attention.
Both men said their clients were very respectful of the rule of law and the court process and had taken steps to remove material from their platforms once it had come to their attention. “There are certain things we can’t do,” Mr Fanning said. Facebook did not know the names of the two Boys. If someone did post the boys’ names, then the Company would not know that was an identification. The Company should not be subjected to a prior restraint order that it could not comply with.
Mr Fitzpatrick said Twitter “cannot in advance stop what people choose to do on Twitter”. Brendan Grehan SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said an ex parte application had been made on Wednesday because the boys were being identified on social media and there was a need to act before the material went viral. Mr Grehan said the DPP wished the injunction order should remain in existence.
“I want some responsibility to be shouldered by the platform providers,” he said.
Mr Justice White agreed with a change to the order’s wording that the Companies had to remove material that identified the two boys which they became aware of or which was brought to their attention.
The matter was put back to July 5th 2019 and the order remains in place until then. Mr Justice White said the main concern was that “some idiots” might identify the boys on social media. An Garda Síochána should investigate any such incidents with vigour. The Court did not deal with an application from the DPP that the two technology giants face committal or sequestration orders for allegedly being in contempt of courts.
Mr Grehan said the DPP did not accept the view that “all we can do is stand by and shrug our shoulders” while material was posted on the internet that breached court orders.