Victim did not want payment to cut jail term

The mother of the woman sexually assaulted by Anthony Lyons said her daughter told the court a month ago that she did not want compensation if it would “in any way reduce the sentence”.

Lyons was given a six-year sentence for the attack on Griffith Avenue, north Dublin, in Oct 2010, but five-and-a-half years were suspended, leaving him with a custodial sentence of just six months.

The wealthy businessman was also ordered to pay €75,000 in compensation to the 27-year-old victim.

In a statement issued to the Liveline radio show yesterday, the victim’s mother said: “My daughter, the victim, made it known to the court through her barrister a month before the sentence that she did not want any compensation if it would in any way reduce the sentence.”

Earlier on the show, a statement from a man called Tom, who claimed he was one of the character witnesses for Lyons, said that the victim “had the option to reject financial compensation in court”.

The victim’s mother said her husband went to the gates of Lyons’ detached home, also on Griffith Avenue, on Tuesday because Lyons had not shown remorse and because his wife was a character witness in his defence.

The distraught father rattled the closed electronic gates of the house in protest while Lyons’ wife, Eileen, was inside with her four children.

“Lyons did not take the stand himself but his wife took the stand as a character witness for him and this was the reason my husband was so upset yesterday,” said the victim’s mother. “This and the fact that Lyons has shown no remorse for what he has done.

“My daughter now wants to put this behind her and asked us not to speak directly, but I do want these points to be made.”

In his statement, Tom said the incident at the Lyons’ house had “only caused huge distress to his four children and his distraught wife”.

He repeated claims that Lyons had made in court that his actions were caused by a “violent reaction” to cholesterol medication, in conjunction with alcohol and cough syrup. This defence was rejected by the jury, which found Lyons guilty.

Tom said Lyons was “bordering on suicidal” since the incident, that familial relationships were strained, and that he would be “forced to leave the country” on release.

He also said Lyons had raised tens of thousands for charity in 2009.

A neighbour of the Lyons family told the radio show she felt “incredibly sorry” for the family but said she was “absolutely disgusted” by the sentence.

She said Lyons would be out in time to do “his Christmas shopping”.

Meanwhile, a Baptist pastor has said he is going on a month-long hunger strike to highlight unjust jail sentences on the back of the Lyons case.

David Syms, from Baltimore, Co Cork, completed a three-week fast to protest against inequality in Irish society in March.


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