Double-amputee war veteran in bedroom attack

Tom Lawlor who was attacked by jilted husband Harry Pattison
Tom Lawlor who was attacked by jilted husband Harry Pattison

A jilted husband has been found guilty of attacking a double-amputee war veteran from Scarborough after he found him in bed with his wife.

Tom Lawlor, of Newby, had both his legs blown off by a Taliban bomb while on foot patrol in Afghanistan, when he was 19.

The former infantry private, now 24, met Gemma Pattison on a night out in Scarborough and the 29-year-old waitress invited him back to her house.

They both headed up to her room, forgetting to lock the front door, and left his prosthetic limbs downstairs.‎

While Tom slept in the early hours, Gemma heard the front door open and someone coming up the stairs. She jumped out of bed to find her estranged husband Harry Pattison, 28, standing there.

She tried to stop him but he brushed past her and was outraged to find Mr Lawlor in bed, Scarborough magistrates were told.

Prosecutor Kathryn Reeve said: “The defendant jumped on top of Mr Lawlor and was punching him.

“Mr Lawlor was shouting that he did not have his legs on him and his prosthetics were downstairs.”

Gemma jumped on top of her husband and tried to restrain him, Miss Reeve said. She said Pattison pushed her and she fell down the stairs, suffering bruises, friction burns and a cut to her ankle. Her husband then smashed a bedroom mirror, she told the hearing.

The disturbance continued downstairs where Pattison also damaged the gas fire before Gemma dialled 999 and he stormed off. Mr Lawlor put his artificial legs back on and left, the court heard.

Miss Reeve said the couple had been married a year but Gemma asked her husband to leave two months ago. He had returned the week before to pick up his belongings and on December 5 Gemma had gone out with a friend. She said there was nothing in the prosecution file to suggest the ex-soldier had suffered significant injuries in the attack.

Pattison admitted two offences of assault by beating and one of criminal damage. Sentence was adjourned until January 9.

Pattison was bailed on condition he had no contact with his estranged wife, who lives 100 yards away in the same street, or with Mr Lawlor.

Mr Lawlor was a private in the Second Battalion Yorkshire Regiment The Green Howards when he was injured in 2009.