Melbourne grandmother bashed at Greek Orthodox church forgive attacker as he’s jailed

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Man who beat a grandmother unconscious and left her bloodied outside a church is sent to jail – as the victim says she forgives her attacker

  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT 
  • Penelope Katsavos was bashed by Amrick Roy outside Melbourne church in 2021
  • The grandmother-of-six was left with a brain bleed, broken wrist and broken hip
  • She told the court she has forgiven her attacker who pleaded guilty last week
  • Roy will spend three-and-a-half years behind bars before he’s eligible for parole

A grandmother who was brutally beaten outside a Melbourne church and left unconscious on the footpath has forgiven her attacker, who has been jailed for five years.

Penelope Katsavos, 79, was unlocking the doors of the Greek Orthodox church in South Yarra for morning service on March 13, 2021 when she was attacked by Amrick Roy.

She was on the church steps holding a shopping trolley containing food, cash and her phone, when Roy, 27, approached her about 6am. He screamed at her and grabbed the trolley.

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Roy punched her in the face and she fell to the ground, hitting her head on the concrete steps. He took the trolley and fled, leaving Ms Katsavos unconscious.

A council worker found her at 6.30am and she was taken to hospital with a fractured hip and broken wrist, her face swollen and covered in cuts and bruises.

Roy was arrested by police five days later.

Melbourne grandmother bashed at Greek Orthodox church forgive attacker as he’s jailed

Penelope Katsavos was left lying on the steps of the church (pictured) after being brutally attacked in 2021

He lied to officers and said the elderly woman hit him first, which the County Court of Victoria was told on Friday was likely due to his ‘overwhelming shame’.

He was in a state of psychosis during the offending after smoking synthetic cannabis and drinking at Revolver nightclub earlier that evening, the court was told.

Before attacking Ms Katsavos, Roy assaulted a club patron, a street cleaner, a man waiting outside the Chapel Street Nike store and another man near Liquorland.

However, Roy’s assaults on those four men was not as violent, because other people had intervened.

Roy pleaded guilty to five charges, including three assaults, recklessly causing injury to Ms Katsavos and robbery of her trolley.

The court was told she has forgiven Roy for the attack, which robbed her of her independence and ability to care for her husband.

‘No sentence you are given will change the life sentence you have given me,’ she wrote in a statement to court.

‘I will continue to walk through this life with love and strength.’

Amrick Roy (pictured) was sentenced to five years in jail on Friday. He has already served 18 months behind bars

Amrick Roy (pictured) was sentenced to five years in jail on Friday. He has already served 18 months behind bars

Ms Katsavos requires a walking frame due to her injuries and has been forced to place her husband in a nursing home as she can no longer care for him. She struggles daily with loneliness, sadness and pain.

Judge John Carmody said Ms Katsavos had exhibited grace and wisdom, as he described Roy’s offending as ‘unprovoked and gratuitous’.

‘Ms Katsavos was an elderly woman, alone at a church door, going about her charitable work for others,’ he said.

‘The incident started because you wanted to take her trolley, after taking it you dumped it, left her on the footpath unconscious and helpless after the assault.

‘Your offending is objectively serious.’

Roy has already served one-and-a-half years in pre-sentence detention. He must spend three-and-a-half years in prison before being eligible for parole.

The judge said Penelope Katsavos (pictured with her husband Thomas) displayed grace and wisdom in forgiving her attacker

The judge said Penelope Katsavos (pictured with her husband Thomas) displayed grace and wisdom in forgiving her attacker

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