Story Archive

Status Doesn’t Always Give You a Leg to Stand On

A few weeks after splitting from her husband of one year, Gemma Pattison, 26, went out drinking with some friends. She met former infantry private Tom Lawlor, 24, who had lost both his legs to a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan, and invited him over to her Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, home for a tryst. The couple left Lawlor’s prosthetic legs downstairs and went up to the bedroom. That night Pattison’s husband, florist Harry Pattison, 28, who had also been out drinking, came by to ask his estranged wife “to see their dog” — at 4:30 a.m. The back door was unlocked and Harry let himself in, prompting Gemma to jump out of bed to see who the intruder was. “She came across the defendant at the bottom of the stairs,” explained prosecutor Kathryn Reeve. “He was very upset she has got another male at the address only a few weeks after splitting up after a long-term relationship.” Harry then allegedly started punching Lawlor in the head, with Lawlor unable to get away without his legs. “This was a serious incident of domestic violence,” said Magistrate Carl Harwood. “Mr. Lawlor was clearly unable to defend himself.” For the assault, Harwood sentenced Harry to a suspended jail sentence, three months on curfew, a restraining order, and a £1,156 (US$1,760) legal bill. (MS/London Telegraph) ...Well, it’s apparent Lawlor had at least one working limb.
Original Publication Date: 08 February 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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