Friday 19 January 2018

Businessman Anthony Lyons’ sentence ‘unduly lenient’, court told

By Sarah Stack, Press Association

A six-month prison sentence imposed on a wealthy businessman for a violent sex attack did not take account of its impact on his victim or society, a court heard.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appealed against the length of time aviation boss Anthony Lyons spent behind bars on grounds it was unduly lenient.

Counsel for the State, Caroline Biggs SC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal the six month custodial sentence did not reflect the gravity of the offence, the impact on the victim and the impact on society.

She also argued undue weight and a disproportionate reliance was given to mitigating factors, in particular to €75,000 payment ordered to his victim.

Lyons was sentenced to six years - with five and a half years suspended - by Judge Desmond Hogan in July 2012 for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman in the early hours of the morning of 3 October 2010.

The aviation broker from Griffith Avenue, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the sexual assault of the 27-year-old victim.

Lyons admitted the attack - in which the victim was rugby tackled to the ground - but claimed he was overcome with an "irresistible urge" due to a combination of alcohol, cholesterol medicine and cough syrup.

Dressed in a dark suit, Lyons was supported by family members in court for the hearing.

Ms Biggs said the trial judge erred in principal when sentencing.

"He failed to have sufficient regard to the gravity of the offence, the impact on victim, the impact on society... and general deterrents were fundamentally ignored," she added.

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