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Pro-Golfer Cleared of Groping Passenger and Urinating On First Class Seat On British Airways Flight

Pro-Golfer Cleared of Groping Passenger and Urinating On First Class Seat On British Airways Flight

Professional golfer Thorbjorn Olesen has been cleared of groping a female passenger’s breasts and urinating on a First Class seat during a British Airways flight after the jury accepted his defence that he had no control over his actions. Olesen had taken a commonly prescribed sleeping tablet that when combined with alcohol caused him to become a “automaton”.

The 31-year-old Danish golfer had faced charges of sexual assault, assault by beating and being drunk on an aircraft. It took the jury less than an hour to deliver a not guilty verdict and have the case against the Ryder Cup player thrown out.

A long-serving British Airways flight attendant told the court in a written statement that Olesen’s behaviour was the worst she had ever witnessed in her more than 30-year flying career. The golfer told the jury he was “embarrassed and ashamed” by what had happened.

The alleged incident took place in July 2019 when Olesen was flying from Nashville to London Heathrow with his Ryder Cup competitors Ian Poulter and Justin Rose. Olesen had been drinking and also took a Zolpidem tablet, a prescription sleeping tablet more often known as Ambien, which Olesen’s girlfriend had obtained from an online doctor.

As part of his defence, Olesen admitted to having drunk five alcoholic drinks before even boarding the aircraft. He also took two melatonin tablets which can help in combatting jetlag, as well as two generic Zolpidem tablets.

The five-time European Tour winner told the court that he had no memory of the flight. Witnesses helped fill in the blanks, accusing him of urinating on a First Class seat, punching a member of cabin crew and groping a female passenger’s breasts.

Olesen also allegedly ran around the aircraft holding up his hands in the shape of a cross while being chased by cabin crew.

His defence centred around the argument that he had no control over his actions. The jury accepted Olesen’s behaviour was down to automatism.

In a statement, Olesen said: “I want to apologise wholeheartedly to everyone on board the flight . . . who was affected by my behaviour. I do not remember anything after takeoff, but I am embarrassed and ashamed by the account of my actions that was outlined during the trial.

“My behaviour was completely out of character and nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since.”

“I have learnt from my mistake and will make sure I never put myself in a similar position again. I now want to focus on my golf, free from distractions, and to repay the trust of everyone who has kept faith in me.” throughout this very difficult time.”

It remains unclear whether British Airways will allow Olesen to fly on one of its aircraft ever again.

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