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Cough syrup sex attacker Lyons is released after 13 months


Anthony Lyons walks free from Arbour Hill prison in Dublin yesterday

Anthony Lyons walks free from Arbour Hill prison in Dublin yesterday

Anthony Lyons walks free from Arbour Hill prison in Dublin yesterday

Aviation broker Anthony Lyons walked free from prison after serving a 13-month term for sexual assault.

Wearing a dark jacket, trousers and an open-neck white shirt, he casually walked through the blue metal gates of Arbour Hill prison and got into a taxi without making any comment.

The millionaire was carrying a light shoulder bag as he tasted freedom for the first time since he was given an 18-month sentence.

It came after the Court of Criminal Appeal found that his initial sentence of six months was unduly lenient.

But the father of Lyons' victim said it was too late for an apology from the criminal.

After Lyons left the jail, his taxi tried to get away from the waiting media.

It brought him to the city centre, along the Quays, up Church Street and Mary Lane before going via North King Street and Bolton Street to Phibsboro.

The car went through Drumcondra and down Clonliffe Road before doing a run through side streets and back to Drumcondra.

Meanwhile, the father of his victim said Lyons has never shown remorse for what the violent sex attack. "He got his legal team to read an apology out after he finally admitted he attacked her, but still claimed he wasn't guilty - that's not remorse in my eyes," he said.

Lyons, a wealthy aviation broker from Griffith Avenue, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to violently sexually assaulting the then 27-year-old woman in north Dublin as she walked home in the early hours of October 3, 2010.

Later he claimed he was overcome by an "irresistible urge" due to a combination of alcohol, cholesterol medication and cough syrup when he attacked the young woman.

Lyons originally received a six-year sentence but the judge suspended five-and-a-half years of it, meaning he effectively got a six-month term.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed the leniency of the sentence and, after he was released, he was handed a further 18 months after his initial term was ruled unduly lenient by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The DPP argued the trial judge had "lost sight" of the gravity of the offence.

It was also argued the judge had placed "undue weight" on the compensation aspect of the case, whereby Lyons was ordered to pay his victim €75,000 in compensation.

"He never uttered a word in court, and it is too late now. If he had pleaded guilty from day one and gave my daughter a genuine apology from the beginning, things might have been different - for him as well as us - but we have never heard the word 'sorry' from him," the victim's father explained.

"I wonder in all his days in prison did he ever sit in a corner and close his eyes and think 'what if someone had done this to my daughter, how would I react?' - and really think about it.

"If someone told him somebody had attacked his daughter, and then blamed it on their cough medicine, how would he feel about that?"

The victim's father also said he feels Lyons didn't get a proper sentence.

"You seem to get more time for fraud than attacking someone in Ireland," he said.

Irish Independent