Businessman Anthony Lyons agreed to pay almost €200,000 compensation to a woman whom he violently sexually assaulted under a settlement of a civil action taken by her, it was disclosed at the Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.
It is unclear if the €199,500 settlement of the High Court civil proceedings, inclusive of legal costs, was made separate from a €75,000 sum of compensation Lyons paid to the victim on foot of a court order.
Lyons, aged 53, from Griffith Avenue, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attacking and sexually assaulting the then 27-year-old woman in the early hours of October 3, 2010. Lyons was ordered by Judge Hogan to pay his victim €75,000 in compensation.
The three-judge appeal court yesterday reserved its judgment on an appeal by the DPP arguing the sentence of six years, with five-and-a-half years suspended, imposed on Lyons by Judge Desmond Hogan in July 2012 was unduly lenient.
Mr Justice John Murray, presiding, said the compensation matter was relevant and was among the factors the court would take into account in its decision.
When Caroline Biggs, counsel for the DPP, said the victim had asked that the amount of the settlement sum not be disclosed in open court, Mr Justice Murray said the Constitution required justice to be administered in public.
The judge then outlined the civil settlement was for €199,500 and it was confirmed to the court that sum was inclusive of legal costs.
This was one of the matters the court would take into account when considering its judgment.
In November 2013, a differently constituted CCA ruled the sentence imposed was “unduly lenient” but reserved the reasons for its judgment and on what sentence should be imposed in its place. However, due to the illness of one of the appeal court judges, Mr Justice Michael Hanna, the court later had to be reconstituted and the appeal re-heard.
The trial court heard the victim was walking home when Lyons “rugby-tackled” her to the ground on a dark stretch of road.
The victim said she was groped and digitally penetrated during the attack until a passer-by came to her aid, causing Lyons to flee. Gardaí were alerted and Lyons was arrested nearby.
He initially denied the offence but several months later gave a statement to gardaí admitting the attack but claiming he was overcome with an “irresistible urge” brought on by cholesterol medication he had started taking the day before.
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