DPP to appeal Lyons's six-month jail term
THE DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is to appeal a six-month jail term for sexual assault imposed on Dublin businessman Anthony Lyons on the grounds it was unduly lenient.
The family of the victim said they were “horrified” when Judge Desmond Hogan last month suspended 5½ years of a six-year sentence and ordered Lyons to pay €75,000 in compensation to the woman he attacked.
The DPP yesterday lodged papers with the Court of Criminal Appeal to begin the process of appealing the sentence.
Lyons (51), Griffith Avenue, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the sexual assault of the 27-year-old woman in the early hours of October 3rd, 2010.
He was head of aviation company Santos Dumont before stepping aside after being charged. He was sentenced and committed to prison on July 30th. With 5½ years suspended, his term of imprisonment is six months. With time off for good behaviour, he will serve 4½ months and is due for release from Wheatfield Prison in Clondalkin in mid-December.
Informed sources said the appeal would not come before the Court of Criminal Appeal until mid-October, when the court sits again after the summer break. At that point, the DPP could request the case be prioritised in order that it would be disposed of before Lyons’s 4½ months has been served.
However, the waiting list in the appeals court is currently nine months. If the court is reluctant to prioritise the appeal, the case would not be dealt with until next year. In that event, Lyons faces the prospect of serving his current term of imprisonment, being released before Christmas and being sent back to jail next year if the appeal court decides the original sentence was too lenient and increases it.
Lyons admitted the 2010 attack, but claimed he was overcome with an “irresistible urge” due to the combination of alcohol, the cholesterol medicine Rosuvastatin and cough syrup.
He rugby-tackled his victim to the ground on a tree-lined, dark section of Griffith Avenue and sexually assaulted her.