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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019
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Man who raped and seriously assaulted woman left her with life-changing injuries, court hears

Anthony Cassidy dumped his unconscious victim on the outskirts of Carlow, the court was told.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A CARLOW MAN who raped and seriously assaulted a woman in her 50s has left her with life-changing injuries from which she is unlikely to recover, the Central Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Anthony Cassidy (34) attacked his victim as she was walking to a shop in the early hours of the morning.

A local garda said extensive CCTV footage, which was shown in court, tracked Cassidy’s movements to and from where he dumped his unconscious victim on the outskirts of the town.

She said there was no footage of the incident, but grainy CCTV imagery showed a male dragging another person to the location where the victim was discovered 12 hours later.

The court heard the victim has no memory of the attack.

Cassidy, a father-of-one with an address at Tinryland, Carlow, pleaded guilty to rape and assault causing serious harm of the woman on 25 June, 2017. He has 34 previous convictions, including soliciting for sex in the UK and two assaults in this country.

The garda told Conor O’Doherty BL, prosecuting, that the victim was found unresponsive with her top pulled up to her collarbone and her trousers partially removed.

Subsequent medical reports showed she had been beaten around the head and neck area, leaving her with a serious injuries. The court heard she spent weeks in intensive care in hospital.

The garda said that after his arrest Cassidy initially denied meeting the victim, telling gardaí:

I wouldn’t rape a woman, I’d pay for it in a brothel before I’d do that.

When DNA evidence linking Cassidy to the victim came through, he then admitted hitting the woman about the head with his fist but said he couldn’t recall any sexual encounter.

In a Victim Impact Statement read out by her daughter in court, the woman described how she was now completely dependent on her family for assistance.

“I need so much help in all areas of my personal care, (Cassidy) has taken my privacy then and now,” she said.

She described the ongoing physical pain, immobility and night terrors following the attack, saying: “Every time I close my eyes my assailant haunts me”.

“Beating me nearly to death was bad, but raping me makes me feel used and dirty”, the woman stated.

“He left me there to die, he wasn’t sorry, he could have left my body to be found or rang anonymously”, she added.

‘Act of pure evil’

Addressing Cassidy at the end of her statement, the woman said: “Your act of pure evil stole so much for me but after today I am closing the door on this”.

The woman’s daughter told the court that the first time she heard her mother whispering her name following the attack was “like winning the Lotto a thousand times over”.

Addressing Cassidy, she said that her mother has been given “a life sentence of feeling dirty, feeling shame, feeling not good enough”.

Colman Cody SC, defending, submitted to Mr Justice Peter McCarthy that his client had written a letter of apology in which he “prayed to God” he could go back in time and undo his actions.

Reading from the letter addressed to the victim, Cassidy said he realised “no words can undo the damage that I caused you and your family”.

He said he prayed someday the victim could forgive him and that she would make a full recovery.

Mr Cody asked the judge to take into consideration his client’s genuine remorse and the fact his early guilty plea had not compounded the victim’s ordeal.

The court heard that Director of Public Prosecutions deemed the assault offence as on the “exceptional upper level” of the scale of seriousness and the case warranted a sentence above 12-and-a-half years and up to life in prison.

Mr Justice McCarthy adjourned sentencing to 23 April next.

- Comments are closed as court proceedings remain active

Read: Policeman who swapped himself for hostage in supermarket siege dies of injuries >

Read: Man killed in single-car crash in Co Kerry in early hours of the morning >

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

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