Man, 80, has glasses ripped from his face during assault on Norwich bus

PUBLISHED: 08:25 19 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 19 June 2018

First bus. Picture: Edward Starr

First bus. Picture: Edward Starr

Edward Starr Photographer

An 80-year-old man has spoken of how he was left “shaken” after being assaulted on a Norwich bus.

The former businessman, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of his safety, said: “I catch the number 26 regularly. The driver pulled up some 40 yards from the designated stop, and we exchanged some churlish words with me telling him to mind his manners.

“There were only two passengers on the lower deck: a woman in the aisle seat, adjacent to mine, and a large man further back. At the next stop the man moved to the front of the bus as if to alight. He did not get off, but instead turned back and after exchanging some words with the driver, advanced upon me.”

The victim continued: “Towering over me, the man began repeatedly poking me in the chest and accused me of being rude to the driver, whom he claimed he knew.

“He rounded his attack off by shouting obscenities in my face, and then grabbed my glasses from my face.”

The victim, who is a grandfather of eight, continued: “I just kept saying: ‘How dare you, this is an assault’. I was shocked as opposed to frightened, and I knew I couldn’t let him intimidate me. I think he considered breaking my glasses, but he didn’t have the nerve.”

Throughout the assault, the victim claims the driver sat at a bus stop and did not intervene.

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties said: “If an incident occurs whereby customers are having a disagreement, our drivers are advised not to intervene unless there is a danger of the situation getting out of hand, and it such cases will seek assistance from the police to help deal with the situation.

“We have a duty of care to protect our drivers and customers who travel with us and we will take whatever action necessary to ensure their safety at all times.”

The victim, a Norwich resident, continued: “I’ve asked for the footage but I haven’t been allowed to view it. I’ve also written to First Bus multiple times asking for a personal apology from the driver, which they have ignored. They’ve said the driver has been disciplined, and they’re dealing with my complaint, but I don’t want the driver to lose his job and would like to shake his hand and put it behind me.”

He added: “My requests for the CCTV footage have been ignored, and six months on I’m coming forward to question what they have to hide. This is a problem with the very nature and mentality within the business, and I wonder how many people have had similar problems.”

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