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DPP appeal on Lyons is now priority

THIS IS a justifiable sense of public unease over the case of sex attacker Anthony Lyons. This criminal was freed from prison last night after serving just four-and-a-half months of a six-year sentence for a predatory sex assault on a young woman.

All but six months of his sentence were suspended by Judge Desmond Hogan, who ordered Lyons to pay €75,000 compensation.

The details of Lyons' crime -- pouncing on a woman as she walked on a dark street and assaulting her -- are shocking. His short custodial sentence outraged many.

But the fact that he was freed before a DPP appeal to review his "unduly lenient" sentence was heard was unacceptable. This appeal should have been expedited and dealt with before Lyons was freed.

It should now be heard at the earliest possible opportunity and, if the Court of Criminal Appeal directs so, Lyons should be returned to prison to serve a longer sentence.