Sunday 24 September 2017

Probation report ordered for sex attacker businessman Anthony Lyons

Anthony Lyons
Anthony Lyons

Brian Kavanagh

THE Court of Criminal Appeal has ordered the preparation of a probation report on sex attacker Anthony Lyons, in advance of the State’s appeal on grounds of undue leniency against the six-month sentence imposed on the 52-year-old last year.

Lyons, who is a high-profile aviation broker, was jailed for six months by Judge Desmond Hogan in July 2012 for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman in the early hours of the morning of October 3, 2010.

Counsel for Lyons, Lorcan Staines BL, today applied for the court to order the preparation of a probation and welfare services report, which he said would be relevant in the case the sentence was found to be unduly lenient. He said that Lyons had been seen regularly by a probation officer.

Mr Staines also asked the court for more time to file replying submissions on behalf of Lyons, the deadline for which had been previously set for the middle of September.  The State’s appeal against the undue leniency of the sentence is to be heard on November 18.

Counsel for the State, Kerida Naidoo BL, said there was no difficulty in allowing more time for the filing of submissions but there was a concern about introducing evidence relevant to sentencing before any decision on the undue leniency application had been made.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said that if the submissions relevant to any potential re-sentencing were not ready the case would plainly have to go back to another day, taking longer than the two hour hearing previously envisaged.

Mr Naidoo said he was instructed to object to the submission of any such material as the court should not have any documentation dealing with sentencing before coming to a decision as to the undue leniency of the sentence.

Mr Staines told the court that four lengthy reports had been prepared in the event the court found the sentence was unduly lenient, and in this eventuality it would not be possible for the appeal court to come to a decision on sentencing on the same day as the appeal is heard.

He said in this case the main plank of the respondent’s case would be the “totality of hardship” of the conviction, which could not be made in the short form.

Mr Staines said the submissions should be backed-up properly by the reports, which would objectively support the case made out.

Mr Justice Hardiman said the court would order the preparation of the probation report but would not receive the material for the time being.

He said that replying submissions from the respondent should be received by October 18th.

Lyons, of Griffith Avenue in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the sexual assault of the 27-year-old victim.

He was sentenced to six years with five-and-a-half-years suspended and was ordered by Judge Hogan to pay his victim €75,000 in compensation.

Lyons admitted the attack but claimed he was overcome with an “irresistible urge” due to the combination of alcohol, cholesterol medicine and cough syrup.

He was released from prison in December 2012 and the case was given a priority listing by the Court of Criminal Appeal in June of this year.

The appeal court previously heard that the hearing would take two hours as Lyons had put forward an unusual defence with evidence of involuntary intoxication and separate distinct evidence of voluntary intoxication.

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