Victim: How was I such a bad judge of character?

A woman who was the victim of a “vicious” knife attack from a man she was in a relationship with 15 years prior has said that she has to live with the “guilt” of bringing this man into her life and every day she asks herself how could she “have been such a bad judge of character.”

Denis Leahy, aged 50, of Queen Street, Dublin 7 was charged with attempting to murder Rose Kenny at School Street Flats, Dublin 8 on September 23, 2014.

On June 22 at the Central Criminal Court, Leahy pleaded guilty to the charge.

Leahy had previously pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Ms Kenny, 51, at the same address on the same date.

Yesterday, Ms Kenny read her victim impact statement to the court.

The court heard that on the morning of September 23 in 2014 she was a “normal 49-year-old woman living a normal existence.”

“I had family obligations and I had worked since the age of 14,” she said.

“I always had a carefree spirit that my family and friends enjoyed. I never gave a second thought to stepping outside my house and just got on with my normal day-to-day activities.

“I tried to be a good mother, a good daughter, a good sister and generally just to be a good person.”

The court heard that Ms Kenny’s life can now be categorised into “before the attempted murder” on her and her life “after it.”

Ms Kenny read that on the morning of September 23, 2014 she left her flat to make the 40-second journey to her place of employment at the local Family Resource Centre that also operated as a crèche.

“I was a key holder but I never got to open that morning and have never returned to my flat that I had lived in for the past 22 years. I just couldn’t walk up them stairs again where the attack happened.

“I’ve relocated from an area that I lived and worked all my life and had to leave a community that I so belonged to,” she read.

Ms Kenny told the court that she was attacked by a man that she did not recognise as being Denis Leahy, a man she had shared many years with as her partner.

Although she is the victim, she said: “I have to live with the guilt I feel of how I brought this man into my life and without knowing that I put my life and that of my daughter and family and friends’ life in danger.

“How could I have known that he was capable of doing such gruesome things? Every day I ask myself how could I have been such a bad judge of character.”

Denis Leahy will be sentenced next Thursday.


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