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Man jailed for assaulting bus driver at Elephant & Castle

London SE1 website team

A 35-year-old man who assaulted a bus driver at Elephant & Castle on New Year's Day 2009 has been sent to prison until June 2011.

In the early hours of New Year's Day 2009 Noel Daniels of Woolwich assaulted a bus driver after boarding a bus with a female companion near Elephant & Castle.

The bus Daniels had boarded was overcrowded and the bus driver had asked some people to disembark before he could continue his journey.

Daniels and his accomplice became verbally abusive towards the bus driver. His accomplice reached under the driver's screen and tried to punch him, causing scratches to his arm.

Daniels then got off the bus, moved round to the driver's window and tried to punch him. The driver managed to push him away and close the window. Daniels got back on the bus and managed to jab him in the leg with a plastic instrument.

Two London Buses revenue protection inspectors who were at the bus stop tried to usher Daniels off the bus however he repeatedly punched one of them and spat at the other inspector before making off.

The Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) Safer Transport Command, which is funded by Transport for London, undertook the investigation through their joint MPS/TfL Workplace Violence Unit (WVU), the team who monitor and investigate incidents of violence involving London bus staff.

The victim who was spat at was able to preserve a sample of the spittle using a specially designed "spit kit" and handed it over to the WVU for analysis. Daniels was arrested on 11 March 2009 after he matched the sample.

He was remanded in custody for three months and was then bailed with stringent conditions while awaiting trial.

On Wednesday 17 March Daniels appeared at the Old Bailey.

Due to the overwhelming evidence against him, he pleaded guilty to four counts of assault and was given a four and a half months prison sentence.

This, along with a recent conviction against him for burglary, for which he was given a total of 40 months in prison, means he will remain behind bars until June 2011 at the earliest.

Daniels' accomplice (26 yrs) has already been sentenced regarding her involvement in this incident at a hearing at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court in 2009 where she pleaded guilty to assault and threatening behaviour.

She was sentenced to 16 weeks in custody, suspended for two years; ordered to pay 40 compensation to the bus driver; carry out 150 hours unpaid work (community service); and a 12 month supervision order was imposed.

"This individual has received a prison sentence for his violent behaviour thanks to effective investigative skills of the MPS/TfL Workplace Violence Unit, and the effective use of on-bus CCTV and spit kits," says Chief Superintendent Joe Royle."

"Assaults on bus drivers, Revenue Protection Inspectors and front line staff are taken very seriously by the MPS and TfL.

"People who think they can threaten and assault front line staff and get away with it are wrong. We are determined that all offenders of bus crime are brought to justice and we will leave no stone unturned in our endeavour to do so.

"If you assault a bus driver, Revenue Protection Inspector or any front line staff, you will be caught and prosecuted with the aid of CCTV and any other means at our disposal."

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