A woman was subject to a vicious assault in Galway city without explanation when a she was attacked and choked by a man while crossing the Wolfe Tone Bridge.
Galway District Court heard that on November 16 a woman was walking across the Wolfe Tone Bridge while on the phone with her son when she was attacked by Parvez Ahmed (36) for no apparent reason.
Mr Ahmed, with an address at St. Helen’s Street Galway pleaded guilty to Assault under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act as well as Threatening, Abusive or Insulting Behaviour under the Public Order Act.
He forced her against the railing of the bridge and placed her in a chokehold for several seconds.
The woman’s son was apparently so alarmed by the yelling he heard over the phone that he called someone else that he knew was nearby.
Shortly after the assault the woman was able to point Ahmed out to gardaí on Shop Street, and the incident was also captured on cctv footage which was shown to him during his interview.
Nothing was stolen from the woman during this assault, but her shoes were destroyed as a result.
When asked by gardaí whether she wished to come to court to say how this assault had affected her, the woman said that she was reluctant, but was afraid that not coming would negatively affect the case.
Gardaí assured her that it would have no impact on the prosecution if she chose not to come, and that a victim impact statement was about protecting her rights.
She told gardaí that the events left her “very distraught” and that she has been afraid to return to Galway city ever since.
Mr Ahmed offered no explanation for his actions in court, saying through his solicitor Briain Gilmartin that he has no memory of that night.
Mr Gilmartin said that the only explanation his client could suggest was that he had been drinking that day, though he was not a regular drinker.
Judge Mary Fahy wondered whether it was a coincidence that he had chosen to attack a woman, noting “You didn’t pick on a man and push him up on the bridge”.
The judge added that this has clearly affected the woman “psychologically, personally, and in every way.
For the Section 2 Assault Parvez Ahmed was given a four month prison sentence, with a one month concurrent sentence for the public order charge.