The 34-year-old was linked to the crime through DNA evidence

A man has been jailed for 18 years for what a judge described as a “devastating physical attack and rape” on a woman in Carlow.

34-year-old Anthony Cassidy from Tinryland in Carlow initially denied attacking her but was linked to the crime through DNA evidence.

The woman was walking to a shop in the early hours of June 25th last year when Anthony Cassidy attacked her.

The court heard he raped her and savagely beat her across the head and neck before dumping her body on the outskirts of a town in Carlow.

A passerby found her and after spotting a shoe on the kerb of a path close to where she’d been left.

CCTV identified Cassidy as a suspect but he denied any involvement until DNA later linked him to the crime.

The woman, who’s in her 50s, was knocked unconscious during the attack and has no memory of it.

She spent weeks in intensive care and has been left with permanent brain injury and in need of lots of care.

In her Victim Impact Statement, she said she suffers from “night terrors” and is haunted by her attacker every time she closes her eyes.

Being raped and dumped in such a way left her feeling “used and dirty,” she said.

Before jailing him for 18 years, Mr. J Patrick McCarthy said he would have imposed a life sentence if it wasn't for his guilty plea and apparent remorse.