A 21-year-old student from Carlow town has been jailed for seven years for a horrific attack he carried out on a young woman on Centaur Street, just yards from her front door.
“Shocking and horrific in its viciousness” is how Judge Raymond Fullam described the attack that Colvin Keogh, of 74 The Paddocks, Carlow, carried out on his victim which left her blind in her right eye.
At Carlow Circuit Court recently Judge Fullam was told that Mr Keogh repeatedly kicked and punched the woman before pulling off her tracksuit bottoms and underwear and that he had intended “to have sex with her, but couldn’t.”
“I just wanted to kick her and hurt her,” Mr Keogh told gardaí in an interview. “Something came over me.”
He added in another interview: “When I snapped, I couldn’t stop.”
Mr Keogh had pleaded guilty at an earlier court to charges of assaulting Marta Kowalczyk, a 27-year-old beautician, causing her serious harm, and of sexually assaulting her on 2 December 2012 in Carlow town.
Judge Raymond Fullam was told that Mr Keogh didn’t know his victim and that he’d randomly spotted her in the early hours of 2 December on Potato Market, Carlow. He was also told that he followed his victim through Carlow town centre before attacking her outside an apartment block on Centaur Street.
Ms Kowalczyk, who’s engaged to Gerald Jennings, the son of well-known business man Bernard Jennings, bravely read out her own victim impact statement in court.
“I feel like a part of me has died,” she said.
“There are moments of panic so intense that it feels like I can’t even breathe,” she said. “There’s nowhere I feel safe.”
“All my life changed because of that random vicious attack. I have met evil and I will be eternally grateful to the taxi man who saved my life,” she said.
Reacting to the sentence Bernard Jennings said that the family were “very relieved” that the perpetrator got seven years and that Marta and Gerald could now try to “move on.”
Seasoned legal personnel and members of the justice system were visibly shocked when they viewed CCTV footage of the horrific attack at Carlow Circuit Court last Wednesday.
The film showed a hooded man, Mr Keogh, chasing after a woman near Centaur Street, Carlow, grabbing her and repeatedly punching and kicking her. When she was on the ground, Mr Keogh is seen taking off her clothing and then kicking her one more time in the head.