Brendan Grehan SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the Court of Appeal today that the State had received the submissions on behalf of Boy B last week and anticipated that the application to "enlarge grounds" and introduce fresh evidence would be opposed.
The now 17-year-old, referred to in court as Boy B, was unanimously found guilty of murdering the “lonely and vulnerable” schoolgirl in June 2019 and was sentenced to 15 years detention, to be reviewed after eight years.
He and his co-accused Boy A, whose identities cannot be published as they are children, were just 13-years-old when they murdered 14-year-old Ana in May 2018.
This morning, President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the court had received a notice of motion on behalf of Boy B seeking to amend the grounds of appeal and introduce fresh evidence.
Defence counsel Seoirse O Dunlaing BL, for Boy B, told the judge that three further grounds were sought.
Mr Grehan, for the State, said they had received "papers as of last week" and whilst he did not have the formal instructions of the DPP, he anticipated that the application "to enlarge the grounds" and to introduce "fresh evidence" would be opposed.
"It is a very substantive matter, the omnibus grounds seek to challenge the admissibility of matters which weren't challenged at trial and also for fresh evidence to go before the jury. That motion will have to be dealt with first and separately," he said.
Mr O Dunlaing said he could "see the logic with that" but pointed out that one of the principal grounds being argued did not require the introduction of "fresh evidence".
Mr Justice Birmingham told counsel that quite often the court deals with the motion and substantive hearing together but that it did not sound like this would be "such a case".
The judge said he would give counsel a date for the hearing of the motion and in the meantime if parties came to the view that it was not necessary to deal with the motion separately then that can be dealt with at the "very substantive hearing".
When asked how long the motion would take to be heard, Mr Grehan said the issue would take a day.
Mr Justice Birmingham asked the barristers if Boy B's co-accused had appealed.
Mr Grehan said that Boy A had not lodged an appeal against either his conviction or sentence.
The case was listed for hearing on June 17.
Boy B was not present in court today for the brief hearing.
Mr Grehan asked for the matter to be mentioned in the case management list a month before that date so that "everyone was clear" if there was any additional documentation. The matter was listed for mention on May 27.
In July 2020, lawyers for Boy B told the Court of Appeal that they were making a "very unusual application" to exceed legal aid limits so the teenager could seek the services of a UK psychologist ahead of an appeal against his conviction.
The Court of Appeal also heard at the time that the thrust of Boy B's appeal would focus on the refusal to allow before the jury the evidence of a clinical psychologist, who said Boy B was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the assault on Ana and that lies he told to gardai did not show he was guilty of murder.
Clinical psychologist Dr Colm Humphreys was called by Boy B's defence team in the absence of the jury during the 2019 trial and testified that Boy B was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the assault on Ana and that his lies to gardai did not show that he was guilty of murder. However, trial judge Mr Justice Paul McDermott refused to allow Dr Humphreys give evidence before the jury after the prosecution objected on the grounds that his evidence would make him a 13th juror, deciding the guilt or innocence of the accused.
The Court of Appeal has previously stated that when Boy B's appeal is heard arrangements will be put in place for the hearing that both sides consider appropriate.
As both boys were children, the Central Criminal Court trial adopted procedures from the Children’s Court, which saw lawyers and judges wearing suits and ties rather than gowns and members of the public denied access to the courtroom.
Boy B lured Ana from her home, knowing that his friend was waiting to attack her in a derelict house in St Catherine’s Park in Lucan. He gave several different versions of events to gardaí, but eventually admitted seeing Boy A attacking Ana.
The boys were unanimously found guilty of murder by a Central Criminal Court jury in June 2019. Boy A was also convicted of Ana's aggravated sexual assault in a manner that involved serious violence.
Boy A was sentenced to life imprisonment with a review after 12 years, and eight years imprisonment for aggravated sexual assault. No appeal has been lodged on his behalf. Boy B is seeking to appeal against his conviction only, meaning no appeal is being sought against the severity of his sentence.
Boy B is currently detained in Oberstown Children Detention Campus and his earliest possible release date is June 2027.
Sentencing the boys in November 2019, Mr Justice McDermott said that the boys’ first period in detention would last until they were 18, when they will be transferred to an adult facility.