Top solicitor guilty of sexual assaults at village pub

A top solicitor downed £150 worth of red wine and pinched women’s bottoms in his village pub, a court heard.

Thomas Cadman pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault when he appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court.

The 42-year-old brazenly approached his victims and groped them at The Red Lion pub in Castle Eaton, in August 2021.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The Red Lion, Castle EatonThe Red Lion, Castle Eaton

The attacks took place when he worked as the Deputy Director General at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

At the same court on March 14, Cadman returned for sentencing – represented by a Queen’s Counsel, barrister Christine Agnew.

Keith Ballinger, prosecuting, said the defendant squeezed victims’ buttocks firmly whilst they were out with their husbands and friends.

He assaulted one of the women on two occasions – first by grabbing her buttocks and secondly by bushing his hand across her buttocks a short time later.

Cadman’s victims were left feeling fearful following the incidents, and both expressed concerns about inadvertently crossing his path in public or being home alone.

The women, who both live near the defendant, were present in the courtroom for his sentencing hearing.

“If I were to see him in the village and no one is around, what would happen?”, one of the women wrote in a victim impact statement.

The other says she has to keep her husband informed of her location at all times, fearing something else could happen – especially when she sees him near her house.

“I feel uncomfortable near men, especially on the train. I think someone’s going to touch me”, she said. Adding: “I’m worried about it happening again and being overpowered.”

The other victim claims Cadman invited fellow villagers to his home in Blackford Lane, Castle Easton, over Christmas, despite being investigated for the sexual assaults – labelling him as being “very blasé” about it.

She said: “It would scare me if I saw him and I would not know what to do… I don’t like being on my own in my house anymore.”

Christine Agnew QC, defending, said her client has “expressed and experienced genuine remorse” since the assaults and has voluntarily abstained from alcohol – which he was using to cope with work pressures faced as the Deputy Director General for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

She told the court that if Cadman were to have to register as a sex offender, it would “impact him professionally” and he would be unable to continue working with charities.

Ms Agnew said that Cadman suffered a blackout when he committed the sexual assaults after drinking £150-worth of red wine, adding that he has “no recollection of the incidents whatsoever”.

She said that the defendant is likely to be struck off as a solicitor by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for a minimum term of five years following his conviction.

The court was provided with seven character references, including one from Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Burr OBE, the Vice President of The Epee Club – and many others were from women.

The probation service recommended a community sentence with rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days and unpaid work, deeming him a “low risk” of reoffending.

Ms Agnew asked for a community order lasting less than 12 months so that the defendant, who had “previous impeccable character”, does not have to register as a sex offender.

Court legal advisor Jenna Morgan told the bench, chaired by Christine Smith, that they must not make a lesser sentence just so Cadman was not placed on the register.

She advised them that the minimum term for a period of unpaid work is 12 months.

But magistrates did not follow the unpaid work recommendation, making a nine-month community order with 20 RAR days and a £900 fine. He must pay costs of £85 and a £95 surcharge.

The reduced sentence means that Cadman avoids having to register as a sex offender.

If he had been given a usual 12-month order, he would have had to register for five years.

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