Teenage yob sentenced for assaulting bus drivers and transport employees
The 17-year-old from Leigh has been given two years' detention at a young offenders' institution and a two-year criminal behaviour order.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, committed a shocking list of offences including having a hunting knife and an imitation gun on him. hitting one bus driver in the face and whipping another around the throat.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said the teenager "terrorised" staff and passengers at Leigh Bus Station over the summer.
At Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court he pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm (ABH), two counts of assault by beating, possession of a bladed article, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
The string of incidents began on Friday July 10 when the teenager was loitering around Leigh's bus station among a group.
He began verbally abusing a member of staff, then tried to offer a passer-by money to punch the employee before threatening him with violence.
Three days later, the 17-year-old was approached by officers at the bus station who were dressed in civilian clothing and working as part of an operation focusing on public transport safety.
When they showed him their identification, he started to walk away and began to run as he was asked to stop, discarding something as he fled.
The discarded item was recovered by officers and found to be a large hunting knife.
Two months later, on Monday August 3, the 17-year-old lashed out at a bus driver and hit him in the face after he was refused travel. This followed a torrent of verbal abuse because the driver wouldn’t let him board the bus with an invalid pass.
Ten days later, he assaulted another bus driver, punching him in the ribs before whipping him around the throat multiple times with a phone charger, after being refused entry to the bus for not having a valid ticket.
The next day, after a bus driver told the teenager he was not allowed to board the bus without paying his fare, he threatened the driver before paying for his ticket and taking a seat at the back.
As he was exiting the bus, he verbally abused the bus driver before pulling an imitation firearm out from his coat pocket and aiming it at the driver's arm.
The driver was left incredibly shaken by the incident.
Sergeant Nick Bamber, of Greater Manchester Police's Transport Unit, said: “This teenager has caused constant problems within the community and his threatening, abusive behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“Let today’s result be a message for anyone who thinks they can act in such a manner and intimidate innocent members of the public who are just trying to do their jobs - your behaviour will not be tolerated and we will ensure that you face consequences for your actions.
“This 17-year-old was old enough to understand the impact of his behaviour and I hope that this sentence will give him the time he needs to reflect on the hurt and fear he has caused.”
TfGM TravelSafe manager, Kate Green, said: “Public transport in Greater Manchester is safe and the vast majority of people who use it will thankfully never experience any crime or antisocial behaviour, but for those that do one incident is one too many.
“This individual terrorised bus drivers and members of public in and around Leigh bus station over the summer.
“Our TravelSafe Partnership has been set up to keep the travelling public safe and this case demonstrates that such behaviour simply won’t be tolerated. I’d like to reassure everyone that we will work hard to identify and prosecute anyone who wilfully undermines public safety and confidence in our networks.”
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