Woman jailed for female sexual assault
A woman who sexually assaulted a female colleague has been jailed for 12 months.
Teresa Cottingham, an NHS worker from East Sussex, was staying in a hotel room with her workmate in North London on January 26th last year.
They stayed in the Premier Inn hotel in Euston and Cottingham got drunk in a nearby pub, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
Cottingham and the victim got a taxi back to the hotel and the court heard that Cottingham began harassing the younger woman in their hotel room by pulling at her shorts.
The victim was making a cup of tea at the time and told Cottingham she would regret her behaviour in the morning.
But Cottingham shouted: “You know you want it, you’ve been parading your a*** in front of me.”
Prosecutor Adam Davis said Cottingham then pulled the victim onto the bed and told her: “I know what I’m doing, I’m better than a man.”
Cottingham then tripped the woman with a martial arts move, removed her underwear and throttled her.
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Mr Davis said: “There was a certain amount of wrestling, with the complainant making it perfectly clear she didn’t want to participate. Cottingham got more aggressive and forceful.”
Cottingham then performed oral sex on the victim.
She was arrested on February 5th 2009 and initially denied the sexual assault, saying it had been consensual.
At the beginning of her trial last month, she changed her plea to guilty and said she could not remember what happened.
Cottingham, a mother of one who is now married to a man, lost her job as an NHS manager over the assault and was forced to leave a job in a bar when people found out about the court case.
The judge described it as a “violent” and “humiliating” attack and said that a man in the same position would have to be jailed.