Olesen found not guilty of sexual assault on flight

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen appears at Aldersgate House Crown Court in London
Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen arrives at Aldersgate House Crown Court in London, Britain, December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen has been cleared of sexual assault, assault by beating and being drunk on a British Airways flight in 2019, a court said on Wednesday.

Olesen, a five-times European Tour winner and a member of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team in 2018, had denied the charges during a three-day trial in a London Court.

The 31-year-old blamed his behaviour on sleeping pills, saying he turned into an "automaton" and was not in control of his body after taking the prescription-only tablets bought on a "dodgy website" by his partner Lauren Zafer.

The court heard that Olesen grabbed a woman's breast and urinated on a first-class seat after taking alcohol and sleeping pills on the July 29 flight from Nashville to London's Heathrow airport. read more

Olesen was on the eight-hour flight after competing in the World Golf Championships-FedEx St Jude invitational in Memphis.

"I am embarrassed and ashamed by the account of my actions that was outlined during the trial," the BBC quoted Olesen as saying.

"I have paid a very heavy price for my mistake. This case has had a devastating impact on me personally, on my family, and on my career."

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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