The State’s appeal on grounds of undue leniency against the six-month sentence handed down to sex attacker Anthony Lyons has been given a priority listing by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
The 52-year-old, who is a high-profile aviation broker, was last year jailed for six months by Judge Desmond Hogan for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman in the early hours of the morning of October 3, 2010.
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 last year.
State Solicitor Padraic Taylor this morning asked the court to fix an early date for the appeal as it was a case where the longer the respondent was at liberty, the greater the risk of prejudice to the Director’s appeal.
However, Mr Lorcan Staines BL, for Lyons, said that the appeal would take two hours as his client had put forward an unusual defence with evidence of involuntary intoxication and separate distinct evidence of voluntary intoxication.
Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said the object of the current list to fix dates for September and October was to relieve pressure on the overall case list by hearing small cases in the main.
As Lyons’ appeal was expected to take two hours, the judge said he would put the matter back to the next list to fix dates.
However, Mr Justice Hardiman said that Mr Taylor’s request to have the case afforded priority for the next list was reasonable and the court would accede to it.