Sheffield man assaulted bus driver who told him he couldn't pay for fare in cash during pandemic restrictions

A Sheffield man assaulted his bus driver by punching him nine times after he was told he couldn’t pay cash for his fare in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 11:48 am

Kane Nelson, formerly of Richmond Road, flew into a rage on May 29 last year when he tried to take a ride to town from Baslow Road.

However, the 33-year-old grew frustrated when he was told he couldn’t pay cash for his fare because of restrictions, only for his card to be declined too.

He responded by pulling away the plastic partition between him and the driver and punching the driver at least nine times, before walking around to the bus’ offside window and attempting to assault him again.

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A First South Yorkshire bus driver was assaulted by a passenger who was told he couldn't pay cash for his fare during the pandemic.

Sheffield Magistrate’s Court heard how when Nelson was interviewed by police, he told officers he had acted in self defence and the bus driver had started it. He later took this back and pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

Meanwhile, the bus driver, who had been in the job for 20 years, quit after the attack - partly because he was not taken off the route and was forced to continue picking up Nelson as a passenger despite complaints to his employers, First South Yorkshire.

Reportedly, the bus operator refused to change the driver’s route or give him the right to refuse Nelson as a passenger. This contributed to him leaving the position.

As a result of the attack, the driver suffered bruising and fractured nasal bones that had to be corrected with minor surgery at hospital.

Nelson also pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner in a domestic incident on August 14 this year where he reportedly beat the woman for up to 15 minutes. In a victim impact statement, the woman also said she felt “something around her neck” during the attack.

Nelson’s defence solicitor, John Booth, said his client had been frustrated on the day of the assault on the bus because his child was poorly. He also said he had been drinking on the night he assaulted his partner.

Sitting magistrate District Judge Naomi Redhouse declined to sentence the case and ordered it to be heard in Sheffield Crown Court on September 28. Nelson was remanded into custody until the hearing.

She also ordered First South Yorkshire to present a report to the court in time for sentencing over why they failed to either give the driver a different bus route to work or allow him to refuse taking Nelson as a passenger.

She also criticized delays by South Yorkshire Police for delays in working with CPS to bring both cases to court.

Judge Redhouse said: “I’m shocked that [the driver] wasn’t protected by his employer and that he [Nelson] wasn’t banned from that bus route. He was a vulnerable victim.

“I want his employers contacted before the sentencing about this.

“I also want the police to explain why it took so long to submit the files to CPS, as [his partner] was also vulnerable in this case.”

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