Saturday, 11 July 2015

Chelsea Pensioner Kicked Out After Convicted Of Sexually Assaulting Drunken Woman In His Berth

A Chelsea Pensioner has been kicked out of the prestigious Royal Hospital after flouting strict rules by taking a drunken woman - four decades his junior - to his room, where he sexually assaulted her.

Patrick Noel Teegan, 72, played a key role in last year's closing ceremony of the Chelsea Flower Show and was wearing his trademark ceremonial scarlet uniform when he met the 29 year-old fund-raising executive in the hospital's club.

She had already consumed two glasses of champagne that day and says she blacked-out after Teegan bought her a couple of glasses of white wine.

The decorated former Warrant Officer, who joined the Army in Belfast in 1962 and served all over the world, was convicted yesterday of sexually assaulting the woman in the early hours of May 24, last year.

Isleworth Crown Court heard the next thing she remembers is waking up naked in Irishman Teegan's bed with the stripped defendant grinding against her.

"I felt very drunk and being in the club is my last memory," she explained.

"He had his arm around my waist and he was naked as well lying behind me," she told police. "I was shocked I didn't know where I was or who I was with."

She told the court semi-aroused Teegan - known as 'Paddy' - was rubbing his groin against her buttocks and invited her to remain until the morning, describing her as: "Wonderful."

"I just thought: 'What the hell is happening?'"

Teegan will be housed by charity Veteran's Aid over the weekend and plans to move in with family - leaving behind the 320 year-old Sir Christopher Wren-designed hospital and his veteran comrades.

"Because of that verdict as of this moment Mr. Teegan is no longer a Chelsea Pensioner and he will not be able to return to Chelsea Hospital," his lawyer Clare McGrath told the court.

"Arrangements have been made for alternative accommodation."

In return for £175 a week residents, who must be Army veterans over 65 years-old, receive a private berth within the seventeenth century Grade 1 listed building, plus three meals a day and enjoy an active ceremonial and social life.

Recorder Jonathan Davies bailed Teegan until August 28 for a pre-sentence report, telling the first-time offender: "You are obviously going to be low and I recognise you will have accommodation difficulties.

"I consider this passes the custodial threshold and the court will consider a custodial sentence."

Hours before the assault Teegan, who was a Ministry of Defence civil servant for a decade after his Army service, took part in the traditional bell-ringing ceremony, which closes the annual flower show.

The father-of-two spent the rest of the evening drinking in the Chelsea Pensioners Club, where he met the woman. 

"She was smiling and I said: 'Hello, would you like a drink?' I could see she was getting merry and her voice did get loud.

"She was not straight, you could tell she'd had a drink," he told the court.

"I took her out of the club because the barmaid suggested it and she said she was tired, needed a rest and did not want to go home.

"She said: 'Can I come to your room and have a rest?' I said: 'Yes, you can come to my berth and have a rest.'

"I knew I was doing wrong by letting her into my berth, that was breaking hospital rules, the no female rule.

"She started taking her clothes off and got into bed and she said: 'Come to bed.' I got into bed, wearing just my underpants. I wanted to have a rest.

"She took my right hand and placed it on her stomach, but I took my hand away. I think she wanted to initiate more, perhaps sex."

Teegan told the court she then threw up over herself. "I told her: 'I think it's time you went.'"

He walked her to the night bus, which she caught after 3am, but was seen by the police six days later.

Describing how it felt to be arrested Teegan said: "I went into shock," adding that it was "horrible" being on trial.

The woman asked her mother to take her to a psychiatric hospital the next day, fearing she would harm herself otherwise.

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