Norwich dad told to get off First bus when son had epileptic fit

A father from Earlham has spoken of his anger at being told to get off a First bus when his young son was having an epileptic fit.

Peter Benning, 25 and of Gilbard Road, Earlham, said his family intended to register a complaint with First about what happened when he and his two-year-old son Reece-Lee were travelling towards Earlham on the number 21 First bus on Tuesday, at about 12.45pm

Mr Benning, who lives with his partner Hannah Williams, 31, said: 'We were coming home from the Hamlet Centre when Reece-Lee started fitting on the bus. I said to the bus driver, 'you need to stop the bus because my son is having a fit.'

'He said okay and stopped the bus. He opened the doors and said, 'you have to get off'.'

Mr Benning said he could not believe he was told to leave the bus and that he felt the driver should have let him and Reece-Lee stay on board until the ambulance arrived.

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'When he asked me to get off the bus I just panicked. I said, 'why,' and he said he had his route to carry on with,' he said.

'We were treated really poorly. What was I meant to do when I got off the bus?'

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Mr Benning said they were left on Dereham Road, and he rushed into Petals Florists with his son, who was still fitting. They stayed there until an ambulance arrived.

'The staff at Petals were brilliant. They just reassured me all the time. They were so good I cannot stop praising them,' said Mr Benning who also has an eight-month-old son called Callum and 10-year-old step-son called Alexander.

Charlotte Curson, 17, is an apprentice at Petals who was working at the time. She said: 'I saw the little boy lying on the floor and a lot of people around him. They were all talking about the bus driver kicking them off the bus and everyone in the shop was outraged really, especially with a little boy like that.'

A spokesman from First confirmed that an investigation into the incident had been launched, saying: 'From the details we currently have we believe our driver acted responsibly and followed correct company procedures, however a full investigation is being carried out.'

Reece-Lee was taken to hospital where he had two more fits. He had to stay in hospital overnight but was allowed to go home on Wednesday.

Mr Benning said Reece-Lee has a number of medical conditions including myoclonic epilepsy and reflex epilepsy.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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