September 22 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
A 23-year-old man smashed through a screen and grabbed a bus driver by the throat in an “unprovoked” and “vicious” attack.
Jayden Nicholas fought with the driver of a 287 bus on Bridge Road, Rainham, after he boarded the vehicle without a ticket and was handed a suspended sentence last Thursday.
Nicholas immediately became verbally abusive to the bus driver after his invalid ticket was refused in April.
He shouted and swore at the driver before repeatedly punched the assault screen that separated the pair.
Nicholas, of Barking Road, Newham, hit the screen with such force that he broke through it and grabbed the driver by the throat and began shaking him.
A passenger managed to pull Nicholas from the driver and push him off the bus. Nicholas then ran off.
The Metropolitan Police’s Workplace Violence Unit launched an investigation which resulted in Nicholas being identified and arrested a month after the attack.
Supt Rob Revill, of the roads and transport police, said: “This was a particularly vicious, unprovoked assault on a bus driver who was just doing his job. I am pleased that the professional and thorough investigation has resulted in the suspect pleading guilty.”
Transport for London’s enforcement director Steve Burton said he was “very pleased” with the prosecution of Nicholas who attacked a driver who was “just doing his job”.
He said: “Our staff should be allowed to carry out their daily work duties without fear of attack from the travelling public. We will continue to work with our policing partners to identify offenders and will always push for the toughest penalties for anyone who abuses our staff.”
Nicholas was sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to common assault, criminal damage and affray.
He was sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and a 12-month supervision order.
He was also and ordered to pay £150 compensation to the victim, £360 compensation to Stagecoach and £30 each to the two passengers who witnessed the attack, and pay a £60 victim surcharge.