Lyons may be out of jail before term challenged
Businessman Anthony Lyons may be released from prison before an appeal by the DPP against the leniency of his sentence for sexually assaulting a woman is heard.
Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, when managing cases at the Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday, said he would put the DPP’s application into the next list to fix hearing dates on December 17th.
The court heard the appeal hearing should take 2½ hours and that Lyons’s lawyers would be arguing a defence of voluntary intoxication in which medical evidence would be highly relevant.
‘Effects of medication’
Lyons, who owns an aircraft leasing company, is serving a six-month sentence and is due for release in mid-December.
Lyons (52), a father of four from Griffith Avenue, Dublin, originally denied attacking the woman when he was arrested near the scene on October 3rd, 2010.
However, 10 days later, he went back to gardaí and claimed he attacked the woman because of the effects of the cholesterol medication he was taking, a defence rejected by the jury.
Mr Justice Desmond Hogan sentenced him to six years but suspended 5½ years and ordered him to pay €75,000 to the victim.
The DPP sought a priority hearing of an appeal against leniency of sentence in the hope of having it heard before he was released.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Hardiman said that following an application for priority by the DPP he had been prepared to fix December 12th for the hearing. However, after being told a a barrister representing Lyons might not be available that day due to commitments in a separate trial, the judge decided to adjourn the matter to December 17th, the next list to fix dates.
If circumstances changed, an application could be made to the court to apply for the December 12th date, which was available due to another case being settled, the judge indicated.
He refused an application from the DPP to let the case be listed for December 12th in the hope Lyons’s lawyer might become available if the murder trial he was working on did not take as long as expected.
He also refused to give the appeal priority in the next list to fix dates as there were many other cases seeking priority.
Mr Justice Hardiman said it seemed undesirable to leave an uncertainly around the appeal hearing.
“The State moved yesterday [Wednesday] to give priority to its application and no previous application has been made. The court is willing to see in that context if December 12th is free,” he said.
He also said there were “very unfortunate cases to facilitate after sentencing has been complete due to resource difficulties”. He noted that the unavailability of counsel was not a ground to adjourn the case.
There were other cases awaiting priority, he said.
Sex offender could be returned to prison if released before appeal
Sex offender Anthony Lyons could be reimprisoned if he is released before an appeal against the length of his sentence is heard.
There is no legal obstacle to a criminal being reincarcerated if a court finds the sentence originally imposed was not long enough, a legal source has said.
Lyons (52) was jailed for six months at the end of July for sexually assaulting a young woman on Griffith Avenue, Dublin, two years ago having followed her home from a pub.
He had been given a six-year sentence by Judge Desmond Hogan, but 5½ years of it was suspended and he was ordered to pay his victim €75,000. He is due for release mid-December.
The Director of Public Prosecutions filed papers to appeal the leniency of the sentence at the Court of Criminal Appeal in August. But following yesterday’s decision to delay until counsel for Lyons is available, it is less likely to be heard before Lyons is released.
A source said there had been a limited number of cases where criminals had been returned to prison after an appeal against leniency of sentence was successful. FIONA GARTLAND