THE former employer of murdered vet Catherine Gowing has spoken movingly of her "compassion" and the profound effect she had on people.
David Evans gave Ms Gowing, from Kinnity, Co Offaly, her first job after leaving college, at a veterinary surgery in Mold, north Wales.
He said she quickly settled into work and was a highly regarded member of a very close-knit team.
Ms Gowing was brutally raped and murdered at her house in quiet New Brighton, where she had been living with a colleague, Jane Doyle.
Clive Sharp (46) will spend the next 37 years behind bars after he admitted breaking into her house, killing her and then disposing of her mutilated body at various locations.
Mr Evans expressed his anger that nobody was told Sharp had previous convictions, including sexual assault, and that he had admitted fantasising about killing women.
"The whole thing was just a vile crime that should never have been allowed to happen," said Mr Evans. "This man admitted fantasising about raping and murdering women, yet someone had to be killed before anything happened. It's a complete and utter waste of a life.
"People here feel no jail sentence would be long enough for what he did. To me personally, it would have been better if hanging was still available. He doesn't deserve anything better."
Mr Evans said the practice had been inundated with messages following Ms Gowing's death and one client had referred to her as "an angel on earth".
"We got hundreds of cards from people after this happened and one man wrote how Catherine was 'an angel on earth'. That was a very good way of describing her," Mr Evans told the Irish Independent.
"She was a compassionate, gentle person who would not do any harm to anyone and a very dear person, who had a great way with people."
Although it was her first job in a veterinary practice after she qualified in Budapest, Mr Evans said Ms Gowing had a great natural ability working with animals and brought maturity to the job.
He continued: "There were only four of us, including the two Irish girls, Catherine and her friend Jane, who shared a house together. We were all absolutely devastated when this happened."
Mr Evans said Ms Gowing's death had stunned Jane Doyle, who had been involved in a relationship with Clive Sharp, not knowing anything about his previous convictions for sexual assault, false imprisonment and attempted strangulation.
He added: "Jane was completely devastated by this and just couldn't cope with it. She never suspected anything about him – but nobody did."