Businessman gets just six months for sex attack but he must pay victim €75k
A high-profile aviation broker who claimed his cholesterol medication made him sexually assault a young woman has been sentenced to six years with the final five and half years suspended.
Anthony Lyons (51) was also ordered by Judge Desmond Hogan to pay his victim €75,000 in compensation.
Lyons of Griffith Avenue in 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 3, 2010.
He was head of the aviation company Santos Dumont before stepping aside after being charged.
Lyons admitted the attack but claimed he was overcome with an “irresistible urge” due to the combination of alcohol, the cholesterol medicine Rosuvastatin and cough syrup.
Judge Hogan accepted that Lyons had not contested the facts of the woman’s allegation and his legal team had told the judge on the first day of the trial that they did not require the victim to give evidence. She however decided to take the stand.
Judge Hogan said the jury had rejected Lyons’ claim it was the effects of a combination of his recently prescribed Rosuvastatin, with alcohol and cough syrup, which “left him being unable to resist what he did”.
He said he had “no doubt” that it was a serious offence which had involved “violence of a seriously frightening nature”.
“He had rugby tackled this young lady to the ground in a dark area under trees on a quiet road,” Judge Hogan said before he commented that the effects of what happened to her will continue “beyond any sentence I can impose”.
“The long abiding psychological trauma suffered by her is perhaps seriously greater than the physical injuries she sustained,” the judge commented.
“There is little doubt that a very serious wrong has been done on her by a person who has expressed remorse, has been hitherto of good character, is well regarded and is unlikely to reoffend,” Judge Hogan said having considered a psychiatric report, a probation report and “a myriad of testimonials” that had been prepared for the sentence hearing.
He said there was a provision under Section 6 of the 1993 Criminal Justice Act, which allows a judge to order that compensation be made to a victim for any personal or psychological injuries they may have suffered.
“I think he should pay something back not only to society but also to the injured party,” Judge Hogan said before he added “this is not a matter of compensation being offered with a view to being treated more favourably by the court, this is an order being made by the court.”
Judge Hogan said a custodial sentence was warranted but having regard to the compensation order of €75,000, and other “mitigating factors”, he suspended all but six months of that term.
He registered Lyons as a sex offender at a previous hearing and noted that this was a punishment in itself. He also ordered he be of good behaviour for two years upon his release and remain under supervision of the Probation Service for 12 months.