Predator is likely to be freed before appeal

PROPER order.

That will be most people’s reaction to news that the DPP is appealing the sentence handed down to Anthony Lyons.

There was outrage last month when the businessman, who sexually assaulted a woman, had five and half years of a six-year jail term suspended. The public anger at the sentence was also fuelled by the fact that Lyons was ordered to pay €75,000 to the victim, who did not ask for compensation.

The public was entitled to ask whether, if Lyons was not a “man of means”, as the judge said, he would have been treated so leniently?

In the aftermath of the sentence it was clear that many people, not least the victim’s family, felt that justice was not served in the case. “A disgrace” was the simple, accurate, description offered by relatives.

It’s hard to disagree. Lyons rugby tackled the woman to ground in a tree-lined, darkened area on Griffith Avenue as she was walking home and sexually assaulted her.

Lyons’ sentence is so short that, farcically, it is likely that he will be freed before the Court of Criminal Appeal hears the DPP’s appeal. In order for justice to be seen to be done, this case must be expedited through the court lists.

Sentencing Lyons, Judge Desmond Hogan ruled that he was “hitherto of good character, is well regarded and is unlikely to reoffend.”

The Court of Criminal Appeal judges may have a different opinion.

This post first appeared in the Evening Herald, August 15, 2012

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