Man grabbed bus driver by the throat
Three offenders have now admitted taking part in the bashing of a bus driver who was knocked unconscious and robbed of his tray of coins.
Two are already serving jail terms and the third, Pierce Michael Harrison is in custody awaiting sentence after pleading guilty in the Christchurch District Court today to charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm, and theft.
Judge Raoul Neave remanded Harrison, 23, to October 3 for sentence and read him the first-strike warning that imposes heavier penalties on repeat violent offenders.
Harrison told the court he was embarrassed about the offending.
Co-offender Lucy Anne Hamilton, 18, has been jailed for 18 months after admitting the charge of robbery, and Riapo Piripi Tipene, 18, was jailed for two years nine months after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery.
The trio were all on a bus on Marine Pde, New Brighton, about 11.15pm on February 25.
Because they were being loud and abusive towards the bus driver - who is from overseas - he told them to settle down because they were behaving in a rude and intimidating manner.
Hamilton exchanged words with the driver as she got off the bus, and spat in his face. When the driver reached out towards her, Harrison grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against the wall.
Harrison pinned him into the corner by his throat and struck him at least once. While that was going on, Tipene grabbed hold of the driver and punched him in the face eight times with the back of his fist.
Hamilton grabbed the tray of money from the bus. When Harrison saw she had the tray containing about $40 in coins, he released the driver.
The driver was knocked out for a short time.
The trio left the bus on foot, and were caught soon after, when they had shared the money.
The bus driver received facial fractures and injuries, bruises, and marks to his neck and was kept in hospital overnight for observation. Police say he was badly affected psychologically by the attack.
The prosecution said: "Harrison admitted taking money from the driver, and defended his assault on the complainant by contending that he had behaved inappropriately towards Hamilton and it was his duty to defend women."