A HIGH-profile aviation broker who claimed his cholesterol medication made him sexually assault a young woman is expected to be released from prison before an appeal against his sentence begins.
Anthony Lyons (52) is due to be released in a few weeks' time, after a judge suspended all but six months of a six-year term.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had sought a 'priority' hearing date in a bid to have an appeal against the leniency of the sex offender's sentence heard before he leaves prison in mid-December.
However, the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) yesterday heard Lyons' defence lawyer Patrick Gageby may not be available on December 12.
Lyons, who owns an aircraft leasing company, was sentenced to six years in prison with five-and-a-half years suspended and ordered to pay €75,000 to the victim by Judge Desmond Hogan. Lyons was also registered as a sex offender.
The father-of-four from 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 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. The jury rejected Lyons' claim.
Judge Hogan said: "He had rugby tackled this young lady to the ground in a dark area under trees on a quiet road."
"The long abiding psychological trauma suffered by her is perhaps seriously greater than the physical injuries she sustained," the judge commented.
However, after considering a psychiatric report, a probation report and testimonials Judge Hogan said Lyons had up to then been "of good character" and was "unlikely to reoffend".
In the CCA, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman yesterday said he had been prepared to fix December 12 as the date after the DPP sought to have it heard as a matter of priority.
However, defence barrister Lorcan Steins said Lyons' chosen lawyer Mr Gageby was not available on that date.
Senior counsel for the State stressed the application would take a maximum of half an hour. However, Mr Steins said he would need up to two hours to go through the "significant medical evidence" relating to the involuntary intoxication argument.
Mr Justice Hardiman put an application to hear the appeal back to the next court list to fix dates on December 17.