'Intoxicated' | 

Drunken thug to spend almost year in jail over ‘appalling’ assault on bus driver

The driver was head-butted on the nose and punched twice in the face. He was then attacked outside the bus and was bitten twice on the arm, “leaving teeth marks’’
The assault spilled out onto this bus shelter

The assault spilled out onto this bus shelter

John LeeSunday Life

A man who head-butted, punched and bit a bus driver in what a judge has described as one of the worst attacks on a public service worker has been jailed.

Brendan Gilmore previously pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing criminal damage to a bus shelter.

Police were called to Gibsons Lane in Newtownards last October following a report that a Translink bus driver had been assaulted.

The driver told police that Gilmore appeared intoxicated when he boarded the bus and was looking in his pockets for a ticket, which he couldn’t find, and he told the driver to “take him to Portaferry”.

When told that the bus was going to Belfast, the defendant became “agitated and aggressive, shouting abuse around the bus”.

When the driver, concerned for passengers, got out of his cabin he was head-butted on the nose by Gilmore and was punched twice in the face.

The driver was then attacked outside the bus and was bitten twice on the arm, “leaving teeth marks’’.

Both men fell through a bus shelter “causing injuries to both parties”.

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The bus driver attended hospital and received five stitches to his hand. His account of what happened was corroborated by other witnesses.

Newtownards Magistrates Court was told Gilmore was restrained by members of the public until police arrived.

Gilmore, from Ashlea Place in Lisburn, said he could not recall the events because he was “intoxicated’’. His lawyer said alcohol was the “root cause’’ of what unfolded and Gilmore is “very ashamed”.

The court was told Gilmore had been off alcohol for a “substantial period” as part of bail conditions.

Sentencing Gilmore to 14 months, 10 of which are to be spent in jail, the judge described what happened as “appalling” and said the bus driver was simply trying to do his job.

Bail was fixed at £400 pending appeal of the sentence.

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