OPINION: Lenient term not deterrent

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Public servants who dedicate their lives to serving others should feel safe when they go to work knowing they are protected by the law.

More and more we hear horrific stories of police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, bus and taxi drivers being assaulted by the very people they are trying to help.

Only recently buses had to be diverted away from the Herdings bus terminus after two bus drivers were attacked on the city’s streets. One had a replica gun pointed at him while the other was attacked and his takings were stolen.

In the latest case, a bus driver suffered lasting nerve damage and has been left too scared to make friendly small talk with his passengers after he was spat at, punched and stamped on by a man who didn’t have a valid pass or money for his fare.

The judge described the attack as a ‘thoroughly disgraceful demonstration of anger’. Anyone would have thought he was going to throw the book at the defendant, who has a string of previous convictions for violence and failed to show a shred of remorse.

Instead, the convicted man was spared jail. That is hard to accept, particularly for the victim and others who like him who have the right to work in a safe environment.

*Read more: Yob walks free after Sheffield bus attack