herald

Thursday 19 January 2017

Sex attacker company boss Lyons given €422k in loans by firm he runs with wife

Anthony Lyons
Anthony Lyons

Vile sex attacker Anthony Lyons has been given more than €420,000 through interest-free company loans, the Herald can reveal.

On November 23, a firm owned and operated by Lyons (55) declared loans to him worth €135,000.

They came in addition to a €255,000 facility granted to the sex offender last year - declared in January this year - and €32,026 declared in December 2015, making a total of €422,026.

By comparison, Lyons paid €200,000 to his victim by way of a settlement of a High Court civil case. He had been ordered to initially pay her €75,000 when first sentenced.

In 2010, Lyons approached his victim and grabbed her from behind in north Dublin before sexually assaulting her.

Outstanding

The money loaned to Lyons was provided through a company called Interfirst Capital, in which he and his wife Eileen are the sole directors. Lyons owns 100pc of the company shares.

Much of the cash he received was in 2015, the year he was serving a second stint in prison for sexually assaulting the then 27-year-old woman.

His total outstanding loans from the company went from €20,928 in 2014 to €253,283 in 2015. The company also paid a dividend of €4,500 on shares in 2015, with Lyons the only shareholder.

Interfirst Capital was previously called Santos Dumont Aviation, but changed its name in March 2012.

In 2010, Lyons stepped aside from his involvement in two separate aviation companies - Santos Dumont and Santos Dumont Leasing - that he established after he was charged with the sex attack.

However, he remained a director of Santos Dumont Aviation, which rebranded almost five years ago, giving no hint of its connection to Lyons' criminal past.

The principal activity of Interfirst has been listed as "labour recruitment and provision of personnel".

The company's balance sheet showed it had assets of €736,585 at the year ending December 2015, the most recent accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

In 2012, Lyons was sentenced to six years in prison, with five-and-a-half years suspended, and ordered to pay €75,000 to his victim.

Trauma

He had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the sexual assault of the woman on Griffith Avenue in the early hours of October 3, 2010.

Lyons admitted the attack but claimed he was overcome with an "irresistible urge" due to the combination of alcohol, the cholesterol medicine rosuvastatin and cough syrup. The jury rejected Lyons' claim.

Judge Desmond Hogan said: "He had rugby tackled this young lady to the ground in a dark area on a quiet road. The long-abiding psychological trauma suffered by her is perhaps seriously greater than the physical injuries she sustained."

Following complaints that the sentence was too lenient, Lyons was forced to return to jail in July 2014. The Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) sentenced him to a further 18 months behind bars.

He was released in September last year, having served 13 months.

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