Top solicitor who pinched women’s bottoms in village pub after downing £150-worth of red wine is fined £25k but avoids being struck off after pleading guilty to sexual assault
A top solicitor who pinched women’s bottoms in his local village pub after racking up a £150 red wine tab has been fined £25,000 for sexual assault – and narrowly avoided being struck off.
Thomas Cadman groped his victims while on a night out with his wife at the Red Lion pub in Wiltshire.
The lawyer was convicted of assaulting them after pleading guilty at a magistrates’ court but has avoided being thrown out of the profession after a panel ruled it was a ‘one-off’ event.
The hearing of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal was told that Cadman was Deputy Director General at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators at the time of the sex offences.
The disciplinary panel heard that on August 29, 2021 the first victim was speaking to her son at the bar in the Red Lion pub. She told the panel she felt ‘two hands grabbing both my buttocks’, adding: ‘I could feel his fingers moving on my jeans. It immediately made me jump’. The woman said she felt ‘shaken and upset’. Ten minutes later, she was standing in a ‘similar position’ with her back to the bar.
The panel was told she felt the same thing again, and said she ‘immediately arched my back and I saw [Cadman] standing there again’.
The second victim, who was friends with the first, was there with her husband.
After the first victim went home, the second woman said Cadman approached her and asked if her husband had gone to the toilet.
She said; ‘He placed his hand around my waist [and then] squeezed my buttock. I can’t recall which hand he used, but the buttock that he touched was furthest away, so his hand was right around my back.
‘I was in immediate shock and pushed him away with one hand and told him to get off me. He then used one hand and tried to pull my cheek towards and I thought he may have been trying to kiss me. This wasn’t a gentle grab, but didn’t hurt.
‘I pushed him away again and said no.’
She said she confronted him in front of his friends and he apologised, offering to buy her a drink, which she turned down.
Moments later, she said Cadman walked past her and ‘brushed his hand across both of my buttocks. I said that he had just done it again and started to get upset’.
Cadman was then asked to leave the pub by the landlord.
The first victim said she now feels nervous around men while she is on her own and makes sure her husband knows where she is. She said she felt ‘sick and scared’ when seeing Cadman around the village.
She said she has ‘nightmares’ and feels worried when her husband is away.
The second victim said: ‘This continues to worry me massively. I am very worried that Cadman is still in the village and it keeps me awake thinking about it. I am very upset he lives here.’
The panel heard that Cadman, who was 42 at the time, pled guilty to three counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to a nine-month rehabilitation order and a fine of £300 for each offence.
Cadman told the panel he had difficulty remembering the details of what took place but was aware that he had gone to the village pub on the Sunday night.
He said he had not intended to stay at the pub for very long and sat at a table in the pub with his wife and ordered red wine.
Cadman’s last recollection was that he went inside the pub and that it was still light. He remembered nothing then until the following day.
He described waking up feeling hungover which for him was unusual and his wife told him that she had been asked by the publican to take him home and had assumed that he was very drunk.
Cadman said his wife had helped him fill in the gaps in his memory the following day. He and his wife were not aware of ‘anything untoward’.
After he learned the details of what happened, he wrote letters of apology to the victims.
The disciplinary panel decided not to strike him off after hearing of the solicitor’s unblemished record and concluding that he had been honest and accepted the blame for his actions.
It said: ‘Whilst noting that the criminal offences were intrinsically very serious, [we] decided that given all the circumstances it had heard that to strike Mr Cadman from the Roll would be disproportionately severe.
‘Whilst there had been three separate incidents in the course of an hour the Tribunal did not find this to have been a pattern or a course of ingrained misconduct and found it to have been a one-off event brought about by the combination of very unfortunate circumstances, both for Mr Cadman and the victims.’