Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen has been clear of sexually assaulting a woman on a British Airways flight.
The former Ryder Cup winner, who cried in court upon hearing the verdict, insisted he couldn’t remember a thing having conked out on prescription-only sleeping pills purchased on a “dodgy website”.
Witnesses had claimed Olesen had pushed a BA worker, kissed another on the hand and grabbed another’s breast before urinating on a first-class passenger’s seat, however Olesen maintained he had no recollection of the incidents having taken his sleeping talents in the hope of sleeping through from Nashville to London. His barrister, Trevor Burke QC, went with a defence of automatism, telling jurors: “His conduct was not voluntary.”
Character witnesses, including Danish pro Lucas Bjerregaard said the incident seemed “totally out of character”.
Olesen was subsequently acquitted of sexual assault, assault by beating and being drunk on an aircraft after the jury deliberated for less than an hour after the three-day trial.
“I want to apologise wholeheartedly to everyone on board the flight from [Nashville] to London on July 29th 2019, who was affected by my behaviour,” Olesen said in a statement.
“I do not remember anything that happened after take-off, 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.
“My actions resulted from taking powerful sleeping pills I had not taken before and my sole intent was to ensure I managed to sleep on a transatlantic flight after an exhausting playing schedule.
“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.”
Olesen added: “I have learned 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.”