Penelope Katsavos, 79, the Greek grandmother who was brutally bashed and left bloodied at the entrance of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne, Australia, forgave her attacker Amrick Roy, 27, who pleaded guilty in Victoria's County Court on Friday.
The court heard that Roy, a student, randomly bashed Mrs Katsavos after a night out to 'cheer up' following his own grandmother's death.
The sickening assault of Mrs Katsavos took place in March 2021, at about 6am, outside the church where she had volunteered for 30 years, with pictures of her sitting bloodied on the church steps sending shockwaves across country and particularly in the Greek community.
She lay alone on the ground on Barry Street for half an hour before a council worker found her.
Daughter-in-law Erin said at the time that Mrs Katsavos had a broken wrist, fractured pelvis and bleeding on her brain in two areas.
“Everyone is completely shocked by this – it’s such a terrible act of cowardice,” added Parishioner Jane Pallot
“She goes to open the church before the priest every Sunday – she uses her trolley to help balance herself and somebody has just attacked her.
“She’s been doing this for over 30 years, and this is the first time something like this has ever happened. She is a beautiful lady and church is her life, and we will make sure she is looked after.”
Penelope is the full-time carer for her husband who has dementia, and the attack has meant she may not be able to care for her husband again.