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Victim 'devastated' as sex attacker Anthony Lyons set for release

A RELATIVE of a woman sexually assaulted by airline boss Anthony Lyons has criticised his expected release from prison next month.

The victim's family said she was "devastated" at learning he would be home in time for Christmas.

"We're the innocent ones," a relative said. "We were devastated in court, and still are, and are still reliving it."

Lyons (51), from Griffith Avenue in Dublin, was head of aviation company Santos Dumont before stepping aside after being charged. He was sent to prison on July 30.

Trial judge Desmond Hogan suspended five and a half years of the six-year sentence handed down to Lyons after ordering him to pay €75,000 in compensation to the woman he attacked.

Lyons had admitted rugby-tackling his victim to the ground before sexually assaulting her. But he claimed he was overcome with an irresistible urge due to a combination of alcohol, cough syrup and an anti-cholesterol drug.

The Director of Public Prosecutions filed notice last August that it was appealing the sentence, arguing it was "unduly lenient".

Prison officials confirmed yesterday that Lyons is due to be released from Wheatfield jail in west Dublin in the middle of December.

Irish Independent