Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Yob Broke Bus Driver's Cheek; PENSIONER IS DISGUSTED BY ATTACKER'S SENTENCE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Yob Broke Bus Driver's Cheek; PENSIONER IS DISGUSTED BY ATTACKER'S SENTENCE

Article excerpt

Byline: By LIZ WALKER

A 67-year-old bus driver had his cheek broken when he went to the aid of a work pal being attacked by a drunken yob.

After undergoing surgery to have metal plates embedded in his face, Ted Jones is back behind the wheel and yesterday he was at Newcastle Crown Court hoping to see his assailant brought to justice.

But the grandfather, from Bedlington, Northumberland, is angry after Michael Barrass, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, was jailed for 15 months.

He pleaded guilty to affray and causing grievous bodily harm.

Ted said: "Is that all you get for bashing pensioners?

"They tried to make the judge feel sorry for him because it was his 21st birthday, but they didn't mention it was my 67th birthday the day before I was attacked.

"When I was 21 I was too busy working down a mine to be wandering round the streets drunk, punching pensioners for no reason.

"It is pathetic he has got just 15 months.

He will be out in half of that. What kind of message does that send out?

"I would bring back the birch."

The court heard that on Saturday, June 7, Go Northern driver Chris Walker had pulled over for a comfort break and was standing in front of his bus, on Verne Road, North Shields, having a cigarette when Barrass approached and asked him for a "fag".

When he refused, Barrass threw a punch at Mr Walker and knocked off his glasses.

Despite being in his 60s, Mr Walker used karate training from his Army days to carry out a "double fish hook manoeuvre" to restrain his attacker by placing his fingers in his mouth.

Geoff Mason, prosecuting, said: "Mr Walker pushed the defendant's face against the bus, so he would be caught on CCTV. Two bus drivers then arrived from the same depot.

"The defendant lashed out at Mr Jones, hitting him on the left side of his face, and he fell to the ground. …

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