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Sunday 19 January 2020

Sex fiend Lyons swaps his cell for boardroom of multi-million firms

Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released in 2015
Anthony Lyons leaving Arbour Hill Prison after being released in 2015

Sex predator Anthony Lyons is connected to companies worth millions of euro after being released from prison for the brutal sexual assault of a young woman.

Disgraced Lyons (58), who was jailed for six years in 2012 with five-and-a-half suspended, would have been released last year if he had served the full term for the 2010 attack.

But since paying his victim almost €200,000 and serving just six months - with a second stint of 13 months after the leniency of the sentence was successfully appealed by the State - Lyons is again connected to companies with millions in assets.

The pervert had headed up the aviation company Santos Dumont, owned with his wife Eileen, before stepping aside when he was charged with the attack.

But the Herald can reveal the convicted criminal is now once again a company director.

Control

Lyons is a listed as a director of a company called Interfirst Capital, which had cash of €747,598 in 2018, according to its latest accounts.

The principal activity of the company is labour recruitment and provision of personnel.

"Interfirst Capital and Santos Dumont are under common control through shareholder Eileen Lyons," according to the report.

Account details for Santos Dumont showed that in 2018 it had total retained earnings of €3.2m. Lyons was not listed as a director of that company.

However, a company called Tailwind Investments, of which Lyons is reported as "the controlling party," had assets of €20.2m by the end of June, last year, according to its latest accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

Eileen Lyons
Eileen Lyons

It had €1.1m cash and debtors of more than €19m, with equity attributable to the owners of the company of €16.4m.

CRO records show Santos has lent to Tailwind, a "business and management consultancy", and has a floating charge over its assets from April 17, this year.

The records provide evidence Lyons, a father-of-four, has slipped back into his old life with relative ease, despite the trauma he caused to his then 27-year-old victim.

In the early hours of October 3, 2010, she was walking home from a gathering for a deceased family member along Griffith Avenue when she was set upon by Lyons.

He came up behind her and said: "Are you going to get home safely?" He then rugby tackled her into some trees.

The woman cried for help, but Lyons told her to be quiet. He put his hand over her throat and mouth before sexually assaulting her.

The victim hit Lyons on the head with her mobile phone.

She managed to phone 999 during the attack and Lyons ran away when a passer-by shouted at him.

But Lyons left his umbrella behind and was only 100 metres from his home when the victim, who was in a garda car, identified him.

Lyons admitted the attack but claimed he was overcome with an "irresistible urge" after downing a combination of alcohol, cholesterol medicine and cough syrup.

Compensation

After a lengthy court case, Lyons was given a six-year sentence, with five-and-a-half years suspended for the attack.

He was also ordered to pay his victim €75,000 in compensation. It later emerged he paid a total of €200,000.

Following an appeal, Lyons was sentenced to another 18 months in prison.

Last year a relative told the Herald that the victim was sure she was going to die during the attack.

"She was sure she was going to be murdered," the family member said, adding that he shudders to think what might have happened if a passer-by hadn't heard her screams.

"A young man heard her screaming and came to her rescue. He said he had nightmares because the screams were so severe. A taxi also stopped and the passenger in the car lifted her into the taxi."

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