On the 3rd of October 2010, Anthony Lyons viciously sexually assaulted a young woman on her way home on Griffith Avenue, Dublin. He ‘rugby tackled’ her to the ground and dragged her into the bushes where he pinned her down and sexually assaulted her. During his grievous attack, Mr Lyons attempted to rape his victim but was interrupted by passers by and fled the scene.
When the case came to court; he freely admitted to attacking the young woman with the intention to rape her but blamed his ‘uncontrollable urges’ on a concoction of cough syrup, alcohol and cholesterol medication.
The jury, quite rightly, rejected his preposterous defence and found him guilty.
Instead of the 10 year sentencing applicable, Justice Hogan handed down a sentence of 6 years. He then suspended 5 and half years of that sentence, instead ordering the multi millionaire business man to pay compensation in the amount of €75,000 and serve only 6 months behind bars. That’s one twentieth of the applicable sentence with a simple signature. But hey, he’s a ‘good character’, doesn’t that make you feel easier about your mother/daughter/sister/yourself sharing the walk home with a convicted sex offender in as little as 5 months time?
Since 1979 The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre have fought tirelessly to advocate on behalf of sexually assaulted men and women. This disgusting miscarriage of justice has done untold, perhaps irrevocable damage to their efforts to see justice for victims of serious sexual assault in this country. Ireland already has one of the lowest rates of conviction for rape in the EU, a shocking statistic that can only be perpetuated by a repugnant ruling such as this.
Mr Lyons has effectively bought his way out of prison time, reiterating the notion that the affluent members of our society are basically given carte blanche to act as they see fit, once they have their chequebook to hand. Our judiciary is placed to protect its people, to uphold the law and see that justice is served. Once again, our protectors and our legislators have proven that to truly be afforded justice in this country, you must first be able to afford it.
I could not and would not allow this repulsive ruling pass without making my feelings on the matter clear to Mr Alan Shatter, our Minister for Justice. I fully understand that the government cannot and should not interfere with the judiciary but the DPP can and do step in and appeal a ruling when the sentencing in a case is ‘unduly lenient’, if this isn’t a prime example of undue leniency that I don’t know what is.
We should be shouting about this, loudly. We should be letting those in power know that victimisation of our mothers/sisters/daughters/of us will not be tolerated. They expect us to allow rulings like this pass without collective outcry, expect us to be an apathetic people, a pathetic people.
We’re anything but that.
This is an opinion piece, Please respect the opinions of others in the comments.