Chelsea Pensioner jailed for sex assault on young woman
A Chelsea Pensioner was today jailed for 12 months for sexually assaulting a young woman in his room.
Patrick Teegan, 72, was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court last month of assaulting the woman, in her 20s, in May last year.
Recorder Jonathan Davies at the same court told him: "There is no other way of dealing with this case than by immediate custodial sentence, I don't consider that that should be suspended."
The judge said he took account of Teegan's previous exemplary character and the loss of his status as a Chelsea Pensioner.
"But the court cannot ignore the fact that you took sexual advantage of this young woman, and this crosses the custody threshold."
The judge said that when the offence took place Teegan was a Chelsea Pensioner - "a prestigious position which commands public respect".
On the last day of the Chelsea Flower Show, he went to the bar at the Hospital having earlier attended the closing ceremony of the show.
The victim, a woman in her 20s, came in to the bar, and was persuaded to join Teegan and his friends for drinks.
"There came a time when she was drunk, so much so that the bar staff were concerned for her, and you said that you would look after her.
"I accept that what you did next was opportunistic, but after you left the bar with her, you took her back to your berth.
"Her evidence was that she made no conscious decision to go back with you.
"The next she knew, she woke up, naked in your bed, and you were rubbing your semi-erect penis against her bottom."
The judge said Teegan denied rubbing himself against her, and it was no part of his mitigation today to accept responsibility for what happened.
"I do not punish you extra for that, but I note it, that you are not in any way remorseful."
The judge said the woman had been vulnerable because of her circumstances, and because she was too drunk, and then unconscious, to give consent to Teegan and his actions.
"The jury found her account was true, and rejected yours," he told him.
He took into account Teegan's age, that he had no previous convictions, and his distinguished military career.
He said Teegan would have to go on the Sex Offenders' Register when he was released from prison, for 10 years.
Teegan looked straight ahead when he was sentenced and said he understood what the judge had said.
Secretary and acting chief executive officer of the Royal Hospital Chelsea Paul Hatt said: "This case has been shocking and distressing for all within the Royal Hospital Chelsea's close-knit community.
"Mr Teegan ceased to be an In-Pensioner of the Royal Hospital when he was convicted of this serious crime. Behaviour like his will never be condoned or tolerated."