Melbourne grandmother attacked outside church forgives attacker


Penelope Katsavos, 78, was attacked outside her church in March last year, but this week she made an incredible offer to her attacker.

An extraordinary act of forgiveness has unfolded following a horrific random attack that left a Melbourne grandmother with devastating lifelong injuries.

Penelope Katsavos, 78, this week told Amrick Roy, the man who randomly punched her outside her church in March last year, that she had forgiven him for turning her life upside down.

“I miss my husband, I miss my independence, I miss my freedom, I can’t clean my own house, I can’t cook for myself, I can’t volunteer at church,” a- she told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. .

“Amrick Roy, I forgive you for what you did, I forgive you for what you did,” she said.

Roy, 27, pleaded guilty to the assault, which left Ms Katsavos undergoing intensive medical treatment for two brain haemorrhages, a broken hip and a broken wrist.

Erin, the grandmother-of-six’s daughter-in-law, told 3AW Neil Mitchell on Friday Ms Katsavos’ pardon had come from her religious belief, it was not her job to judge Roy.

“She doesn’t want to live her life mad at anyone, she wants to spend whatever’s left of her life being happy and doing whatever she can with her family,” Erin said.

The attack was “completely life changing”, Erin said, detailing how active Ms Katsavos had been before the incident within her church, family and among her group of friends.

“All the things that were really important to her, she can’t do much anymore,” she said.

A testament to her incredible character, she said that despite the ordeal, Ms Katsavos still found plenty to smile about, including quiet times with loved ones.

Although she found in her heart the desire to offer forgiveness, Erin said the family was unable to do the same.

“I don’t know if I’m as good a person as she is. I feel sad because it not only completely changed his life, but also his own life and his family,” she said.

Roy pleaded guilty to six counts, including intentionally causing grievous bodily harm, recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, intentionally causing bodily harm, robbery and theft.

The court heard Ms Katsavos was found alone on the ground in Barry Street for 30 minutes before a worker cleaning the street found her.

Horrifying photos of Ms Katsavos later surfaced showing her sitting on the steps of the church with a bloody and bruised face.

Roy’s father, Rajiv Roy, expressed his shame at his son’s actions during this week’s hearing.

“I’m ashamed that someone carrying our blood and our genes (could) do something like this,” he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“I asked him, ‘How could you hit a 78-year-old woman? What kind of man would do that?

Roy will then appear in court for a pre-sentence hearing on June 15.

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