Press Release – Is it fair that a person can pay compensation in lieu of serving a sentence?
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) today welcomes the sentence of 6 years handed down by Justice Desmond Hogan in the case of the conviction of Anthony Lyons of sexual assault. The sentence indicates the seriousness of the offence.
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive of the DRCC said “ We hope the victim in this case feels she has got justice. We hope that she was made aware of the unusual step that Justice Hogan took in suspending 5.5 years of this sentence and directing the perpetrator to pay the victim compensation of €75,000.00 instead of serving the full custodial sentence handed down to him.
However this leaves us with the question that a person with money can seem to be avoiding a custodial sentence by the provision of large sums of money and brings into question the fairness of the criminal justice system as such an option is not available to a person with no money.
If the victim is not happy with today’s outcome the DPP can ask the Court of Criminal Appeal to review an unduly lenient sentence. This is an important mechanism ensuring consistency and fairness in sentencing and this might be a case to ask the DPP to review. “