herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

'I only snapped out of it when she cried rape'

A SUCCESSFUL businessman accused of sexually assaulting a woman said he only snapped out of it when he heard her shout that she was being raped, a court has heard.

Anthony Lyons (51), of Griffith Avenue, in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault of the 27-year-old woman at around 2.30am on October 3, 2010.

It is the defence case that Lyons was overcome with an irresistible urge due to the combination of alcohol, cholesterol medicine and cough syrup.

The woman said she was tackled to the ground and sexually assaulted by Lyons while walking home from a family gathering.







Arrested

During the attack she hit Lyons over the head with her phone as hard as she could and shouted at him to stop and that she was pregnant.

Lyons ran away when passers-by noticed the commotion and came to her aid.

The woman was able to identify Lyons shortly after the attack while being driven around the area by gardai.

Garda Cormac McGill told Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting, that Lyons was arrested and interviewed three times by gardai and denied having anything to do with the incident.

During interview, Garda McGill pointed out to Lyons that his umbrella was found at the scene and questioned him about a fresh cut on his head.

Lyons explained that he had lost his umbrella while walking home and had got the cut on his head due to "horseplay" in the pub. Garda McGill said Lyons couldn't explain why his trousers were covered in mud.

Lyons returned to the garda station roughly a month later on November 3, after hiring a new solicitor.

He handed in a prepared statement which admitted to the attack. In the statement, which was read out in court by Mr Naidoo, Lyons said he had taken Crestor cholesterol medicine on the day of the attack, along with Actified cough syrup, and had also drank four or five pints of Guinness while watching a rugby match.

Lyons said he got into a taxi intending to go to Cafe En Seine in the city centre but started getting "recurring stomach pain" and got out to walk at a north Dublin road because he thought he would get sick.

He said he only "recalls flashes" of the journey home, adding: "I do not recall the actual walk at all." In the statement, Lyons said he passed a young woman who became "extremely startled" when he put his arm around her and asked if she was okay getting home.

The businessman said when the woman lost her balance and fell down, "I could not resist fondling her while she was on the ground."

Lyons said he got a "sudden shock" which was "as if being woken up" when he heard the woman shout that she was being raped.







Resigned

Garda McGill said Lyons admitted to fondling the woman but "absolutely denied" tackling her to the ground or penetrating her.

The statement also included an apology to the woman and her family, and described the incident as totally out of character and "a living nightmare".

Lyons said he was being treated for depression and had resigned from his job since the attack.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard earlier that Lyons was the head of an aviation company which leases aircrafts at Dublin Airport.

Mr McGill agreed with Patrick Gageby, defending, that Lyons has no previous convictions. The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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