Bus driver attacked

A FURIOUS bus driver last nightrelived a terrifying attack by passengers who refused to buy a ticket.Angry Mick Hughes, 52, said he tackled the pair but turned his back and was about to call police when he felt an "almighty" blow to his backside which catapulted him through his bus and onto the floor.

A FURIOUS bus driver last nightrelived a terrifying attack by passengers who refused to buy a ticket.

Angry Mick Hughes, 52, said he tackled the pair but turned his back and was about to call police when he felt an "almighty" blow to his backside which catapulted him through his bus and onto the floor.

Mr Hughes, was waiting at Bury St Edmunds Bus Station when he was set upon on Monday.

He said "The one who attacked me kicked me has hard as he could. I'm a big man but it sent me flying - I was literally lifted off the ground.


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"The next thing I knew he was kneeing me in the small of the back. They were both yelling and screaming in a language I didn't recognise and then left me sprawled half on the bus and half on the concrete path."

Mr Hughes, who in the past few months has had to disarm a man threatening a passenger with a broken bottle and tackle a man determined to urninate on him and his bus, suffered severe bruising in Monday attack.

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As well as a badly bruised back, he has a suspected broken coccyx (tailbone) and a cut to his leg caused in the fall.

But the driver who lives near Newmarket, said he was more angered than frightened by what happened.

"It's not something you should have to face doing your job but this kind of thing is becoming more common and I'm just kicking myself for turning by back on them.

"I now just want to get back to work and try and spot these men again. I will find them and when I do I will get the police there as fast as I can."

He had feared a planned trip scheduled for todayto America to see his adopted daughter, Maria Contreras, would have to be called off but his doctors have given him the all clear and he is now looking forward to recovering with her.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: "This was a nasty, unprovoked attack and it's important that anyone who thinks they know these offenders should get in touch."

He said the incident, which happened at around 7pm on Monday, unfolded after the pair got on to Mr Hughes Stagecoach bus without paying.

"The driver approached them to ask for payment but the two men looked at him and gestured that they did not understand English. The driver said he would contact the police and turned to walk back to the front of the bus when he was kicked."

The two men then left the bus and are thought to have fled through the Roy's car park towards the fire station.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach, said the company was taking the attack seriously and urged witnesses to come forward.

"We would ask people to support us and provide information to the police. If an individual can be recognised we would push for a prosecution."

Mr Campbell said he believed the number of verbal attacks on bus drivers was rising but said it was still rare for them to be physically assaulted.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which runs the station, confirmed that it was aware of the incident but said the station office was closed at the time. A spokesman confirmed the area was monitored by CCTV.

The two offenders were white with dark skin, in their mid 20s and unshaven. The first was wearing blue jeans, a dark top and white cap and had a wrist brace on his arm. The second attacker wore grey trousers and a dark top.

Anyone who witnessed this incident or people with any information which should call Pc Lucy Parrish at Bury Police Station on 01473 613500 or in confidence to Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555111.

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