A businessman has been jailed for six months for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman on Griffith Avenue in Dublin in October 2010.

Anthony Lyons, the owner of an aviation leasing company, from Griffith Avenue in Dublin, originally denied attacking the woman when arrested near the scene.

However, ten days later he went back to gardaí and claimed he attacked the woman because he was on cholesterol medication, a defence that was rejected by the jury.

Mr Justice Desmond Hogan today sentenced him to six years in prison, but suspended five-and-a-half years of the sentence.

Lyons, who was convicted last month, was also ordered by the judge to pay €75,000 to the victim.

Outside the court, the victim’s family said they were very upset by the sentence and said that this was a case where "money talks".

Afterwards on RTÉ's Liveline, they said they are "horrified" by what they called the "very lenient" sentence handed down in the case.

An aunt of the victim said it was very disappointing that he will only serve six months in prison, because the crime of which he has been convicted can carry a 10-year sentence.

Lyons is now a registered sex offender.

He attacked the woman as she walked along Griffith Avenue on 3 October 2010.

He came up behind her and said "are you going to get home safely", before rugby tackling her into the trees.

She cried for help but he told her to be quiet. He put his hand over her throat and mouth before sexually assaulting her.

The victim managed to hit him on the head with her mobile phone.

Lyons tried to take it off her and broke off the cover before continuing. She managed to call 999 during the attack and he ran away when a passerby shouted at him.

However, Lyons left his umbrella behind as he tried to escape and was only around 100 metres from his home when the victim, who was in a garda car, identified him and he was arrested.

The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland has criticised the six-month jail sentence, saying it was "very low''.

It said the victim did not ask for compensation, she asked for justice and was not consulted as to the compensation.

The network also said that it is difficult not to reach the conclusion that had Lyons been a less wealthy man his custodial sentence would have been longer.