Tuesday 21 November 2017

Watch: Sex attacker Anthony Lyons walks free from jail this morning

Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The father of the woman subjected to a sex attack by a businessman has said that Anthony Lyons has not shown any meaningful remorse.

Lyons walked free from jail at approximately 9am this morning, and the victim's father said: "He has never shown remorse for what he did.

Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Anthony Lyons

"He got his legal team to read an apology out after he finally admitted he attacked her - but still claimed that he wasn't guilty. That's not remorse in our eyes."

Lyons, a wealthy aviation broker from Griffith Avenue, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to violently sexually assaulting the young woman as she walked home in the early hours of the morning of October 3, 2010.

Later, he claimed that 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 left Arbour Hill prison this morning without making a comment.

"He never uttered a word in court, and it is too late now.

"If he had pleaded guilty from day one and given my daughter a genuine apology from the beginning, then 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.

Anthony Lyons walking out of prison this morning
Anthony Lyons walking out of prison this morning

"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 that Lyons didn't get a proper sentence.

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

"The gardaí on the night were fantastic and the same goes for the medics and witnesses.

"But it was when we stepped into the courtroom that things changed," he added.

"There is no consistency in sentencing and we need a minimum sentence system for serious crimes here."

Speaking on the Pat Kenny show this morning, the victim's father added: “I’ve lost fate in the system. Even with the appeal and the DPP battling to the end, for the judge to say it warranted a ten year sentence because it was a serious attack but to say I’m going to sentence you to six years and suspend five and a half... I don't know, I can't even remember leaving the court after that, I was in such shock."

The father told Newstalk how he met many other women who had suffered a sex attack during Lyons' trial, saying that many felt let down by the courts.

“When I was going through the court system I met other girls who had suffered the same thing as my daughter, and it is only then you realise how often it happens.

"Also just the amount of girls who wouldn’t go to court. Many were afraid because they feared their assailants would walk – that justice wouldn’t be served even if they were found guilty."

As part of the initial sentence, Lyons was ordered to pay his victim €75,000.

However, the woman's father said it was not right that a system exists where it appeared that the wealthy can benefit from making such a payment.

"I don't think if I attacked someone, then admitted I did it but said I wasn't guilty, and got someone to say sorry on my behalf, that that would be accepted by a court," he said.

The man said that his daughter was now making a new life for herself and moving forward, adding: "She's strong, she's a fighter, and we will always support her."

Irish Independent

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