Ipswich: Court hears that former seaman was ‘badly affected’ after allegedly being pushed backwards out of bus

A man in his 60s was left in a a critical condition after he was allegedly assaulted on a bus in Def

A man in his 60s was left in a a critical condition after he was allegedly assaulted on a bus in Defoe Road, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A 67-year-old man suffered “life-changing” injuries when he hit his head on the pavement after allegedly being pushed off an Ipswich bus by another passenger, a court has heard.

Frederick Fenn spent several weeks in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, before regaining consciousness and being moved to Ipswich Hospital following the incident in December last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

In a statement read to the court Mr Fenn’s niece Hazel Thresh said that before the alleged attack her uncle, who had been in the Navy and Merchant Navy, had been “independent, confident and active”.

However, when she visited him in Ipswich Hospital in the weeks after the attack he was completely different and appeared to be “removed from reality”.

“He seemed very badly affected by the incident,” she said.


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Before the court is Derek Thomson, 27, of Riverside Road, Ipswich, who has denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Fenn on December 13 last year.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said that on the day of the alleged incident Mr Fenn had been out for lunch at a local social club and had got on a bus to go to his home in the Whitton area at around 6pm.

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He said there was an incident on the bus between Mr Fenn and Thomson during which Thomson allegedly pushed Mr Fenn out of the bus in Defoe Road causing his head to hit the pavement. “We say it was deliberate, unacceptable violence,” said Mr Sadd.

In a statement read to the court, bus driver Jonathan Bethell said Mr Fenn had got off the bus in Defoe Road but had then got back on again. He described seeing Mr Fenn being pushed backwards by a man. “He pushed him backwards out of the open door of the bus,” said Mr Bethell.

He described the sound of Mr Fenn’s head hitting the ground as being like “a water melon hitting concrete” and said it was a sound he never wanted to hear again.

He said the other man got off the bus and ran off while Mr Bethell waited with Mr Fenn and tended to him until the ambulance and police arrived.

Giving evidence, Thomson claimed Mr Fenn had tapped him on the shoulder as he was getting off the bus and had sworn at him.

He claimed that after getting off the bus Mr Fenn had got back on it and had run at him and punched him in the mouth, causing a cut to his lip.

Thomson claimed he had pushed Mr Fenn away from him in self-defence and had not deliberately pushed him out of the door. Cross-examined by Mr Sadd, he denied he was lying about being punched by Mr Fenn.

The trial continues today.

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