herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Video: Sex attacker Lyons walks free from jail and goes on crazy taxi journey in city

Convicted sex attacker is due for release over the weekend

Convicted sex attacker Anthony Lyons walked free from prison this morning.

Wearing a dark jacket and trousers and an open-neck white shirt, he casually walked through the blue metal gates of Arbour Hill prison and got into a taxi without making any comment.

The millionaire aviation broker was carrying a light shoulder bag as he tasted freedom for the first time since he was incarcerated for 18 months after the Court of Criminal Appeal found that his initial sentence of six months was unduly lenient.

The father of his victim has told the Herald it’s too late for an apology from the criminal.

After Lyons left the jail, his taxi tried many evasive manoeuvres to get away from the waiting media – including breaking red lights, taking illegal turns and switching lanes across lines of traffic.

The taxi brought him to the city centre, along the Quays, up Church Street and Mary Lane before going via North King Street and Bolton Street to Phibsboro.

The car made an illegal right turn onto Whitworth Road and then went through Drumcondra and down Clonliffe Road before doing a run through side streets and back to Drumcondra.

Meanwhile, the father of his victim said Lyons has never shown remorse for what the violent sex attack.

“He got his legal team to read an apology out after he finally admitted he attacked her, but still claimed he wasn’t guilty – that’s not remorse in my eyes,” he told the Herald.

Lyons, a wealthy aviation broker from Griffith Avenue, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to violently sexually assaulting the then 27-year-old woman in north Dublin as she walked home in the early hours of October 3, 2010.

Later he claimed he was overcome by an “irresistible urge” due to a combination of alcohol, cholesterol medication and cough syrup when he attacked the young woman.

Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Picture:Caroline Quinn
Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Picture:Caroline Quinn
Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Picture:Caroline Quinn
11 Sept 2015; Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Picture:Caroline Quinn
11 Sept 2015; Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released. Arbour Hill Prison, Arbour Hill, Dublin
Anthony Lyons, pictured arriving at the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

Guilty

Lyons originally received a six-year sentence but the judge suspended five-and-a-half years of it, meaning he effectively got a six-month term.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed the leniency of the sentence and, after he was released, he was handed a further 18 months after his initial term was ruled unduly lenient by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The DPP argued the trial judge had “lost sight” of the gravity of the offence. It was also argued the judge had placed “undue weight” on the compensation aspect of the case, whereby Lyons was ordered to pay his victim €75,000 in compensation.

“He never uttered a word in court, and it is too late now. If he had pleaded guilty from day one and gave my daughter a genuine apology from the beginning, things might have been different – for him as well as us – but we have never heard the word ‘sorry’ from him,” the victim’s infuriated father explained.

“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 Lyons didn’t get a proper sentence.

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

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