Young mother jailed for unprovoked knife attack in Cork City that left victim scarred for life

The victim wept when she appeared in court previously saying she was reminded of the serious assault every time she looks in the mirror or sees a photograph of herself
Young mother jailed for unprovoked knife attack in Cork City that left victim scarred for life

Ava Collins, 20, of Owenabue Close, Togher, Cork, who now has a five-month-old son since her sentencing was adjourned earlier this year at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for the serious assault and robbery, wept as she was taken into custody to start her prison sentence.

A YOUNG mother who is trying to turn her life around since carrying out a serious attack on a young woman in Cork city - slashing her extensively across the face - has been jailed for two years.

Ava Collins, 20, of Owenabue Close, Togher, Cork, who now has a five-month-old son since her sentencing was adjourned earlier this year at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for the serious assault and robbery, wept as she was taken into custody to start her prison sentence.

The victim wept when she appeared in court previously saying she was reminded of the serious assault every time she looks in the mirror or sees a photograph of herself.

Judge Dara Hayes noted that the unprovoked attack occurred on a main thoroughfare in Cork city and said, “Attacks like this can only undermine the city’s good reputation.” 

Ava Collins - the woman who carried out the attack – said today, “No words can express how sorry I am for what I done to you. I will have to live with that for the rest of my life.

“Drugs had me in such a dark place I cannot explain what was going through my head. It is not what I want my life to be. All I want is to be the best mother and role model I can be for my baby. No amount of apologies in the world can change what I done. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel completely sorry.” 

Judge Hayes said, “There is no discernible motive for this shocking attack. She had 24 stitches to her facial wounds and is left with permanent facial scars which is a heavy burden for a young woman. Her (the defendant’s) earlier attempt to blame the victim for starting the altercation does her little credit.” 

The judge imposed a five-and-a-half-year sentence with the last three-and-a-half years suspended.

Ava Collins pleaded guilty to two counts related to the crime. She admitted robbery of a public service order card from the young woman on November 14, 2020. She also pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to the victim.

Seamus Roche defence senior counsel said, “There is no point in sugar-coating the offence. She was just turned 18. She was involved in poly-drug use.

“Her stability was fragile and had been involved in drug use on this occasion. She has not been involved in drug use since.

He said, “She has not come to the attention of the guards in the period subsequent. She had a somewhat troubled earlier life and had some mental health issues.” 

VICTIM SCARRED FOR LIFE

The injured party described herself being scarred for life and being reminded of the assault every time she looks in the mirror or sees a photograph.

“It was completely unprovoked. She slashed both sides of my face. I had to be brought to CUH for 24 stitches. I was shocked, confused and very distressed. The assault has left me feeling very nervous. I avoid going into the city centre. I don’t feel safe walking around, especially in the city centre. I am constantly looking over my shoulder.

“I want no contact with her in the future – I barely knew her anyway,” the young woman said.

Garda Kevin Motherway said the injured party and her partner were waiting for a bus at Grand Parade at 8 p.m. that night when the defendant, who was with another person, met them and a verbal argument ensued.

The defendant inflicted large slash-type wounds to her face and then pocketed her public service card. While waiting for an ambulance and bleeding heavily, lying on the ground, the defendant returned and continued to argue with her.

Ava Collins was arrested 15 minutes later on Douglas Street with the injured party’s public service card. She was highly intoxicated, so much so that her interview with gardaí had to be delayed for six hours due to her condition. During questioning she denied producing a knife or causing the injuries. Ultimately, she pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm and robbery.

Garda Motherway said the injured party has been told that she will have the facial scars for life.

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