MULTI-millionaire sex offender Anthony Lyons will enjoy Christmas away from public scrutiny – in London with his family.
Lyons (51) was released from Wheatfield Prison after serving only four-and-a-half months with remission for good behaviour behind bars.
The owner of an aircraft leasing company, Lyons, of Griffith Avenue, Dublin, was sentenced to six years last July for sexually assaulting a woman in October 2010.
But Dublin Circuit Criminal Court judge, Desmond Hogan, suspended five-and-a-half years of his sentence after considering psychiatric and probation reports and testimonials.
Lyons was released under cover of darkness just after midnight last week in a move that has angered the family of his victim.
Neighbours, who roundly condemned the businessman yesterday, have said Lyons has not been home since, and has taken his family to London for the Christmas period.
"That's what his children have been saying," one local woman said.
"It's terrible to have someone like that in the neighbourhood, but you can't blame his family, of course," she added.
Another neighbour said Lyons was staying in London with relatives who have been living there.
"I hope he doesn't come back," he added.
Lyons was ordered to pay compensation of €75,000 to his victim, not "with a view to being treated more favourably by the court" but to pay something back to the victim.
The Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal over what she believes was an "unduly lenient" sentence.
However, Lyons walked free from jail and was driven away in a BMW after that appeal was delayed.
The DPP tried last month to have the appeal prioritised so it could be heard before Lyons was released, but Judge Adrian Hardiman refused because counsel for Lyons was unavailable.
Another attempt to fix a date for the case will be made on March 11.