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Teen spits at bus driver

By Staff Reporter

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov
Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov

A north teenager repaid a bus driver who had let him on board for free, by spitting twice in his face.

The 16-year-old went on to punch the driver and assault and spit at a police officer called to the incident at Alness High Street on December 22.

At Tain Sheriff Court on Monday the youth, who comes from Invergordon but cannot be named for legal reasons, was placed under social work supervision for a year by Sheriff Olga Pasportnikovand ordered to carry out 160 hours unpaid work.

He had admitted the two assaults at an earlier court when sentence was deferred for background reports.

The youth was with a group of around 10 others of a similar age waiting at a bus stop at Alness on the day in question, the court heard

When the bus drew in, he was the only one to get on board and handed over a £10 note to pay for ticket to Invergordon. But the driver did not have much change and allowed him on for free.

Roderick Urquhart, prosecuting, said: "As the bus started to pull away, the youths outside started banging on it, apparently trying to attract the accused's attention. The bus driver had to stop and then get everyone away.

"He drove on but stopped at the next stop where he got out and checked the bus for damage and then went to speak to the accused about what had happened.

"At that point the accused's demeanour changed and he spat in the driver's face. This was seen by a passenger. The bus driver told the accused that that was an assault and the youth spat at him again."

A Stagecoach employee on board contacted police at which point the teenager became even angrier and punched the driver three times on the chin and twice on the chest before a passenger intervened.

He ran off when officers arrived but tripped and fell. When he was arrested he spat in the face of a police officer and kicked him repeatedly.

Mr Urquhart said: "The accused was taken to Raigmore Hospital where he was diagnosed with what is known as a boxer's fracture on his hand - suggesting a considerable degree of force had been used."

Defence agent Aileen Macinnes said her client, a first offender, described himself as having a "short temper and easily angered". He had been drinking alcohol before the incident and was unused to it.

The lawyer said: "He took umbrage that the bus driver wanted to speak to him - he thought he was going to be put off the bus. He aknowledges his behaviour was inappropriate and unacceptable."

The case will call again on June 24 for a review.

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