Man went on damage spree over bus fare

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A man terrified a bus driver and passengers when he went on a wrecking spree after raging about the cost of a fare.

Matthew Keen yelled at the woman driver of the single-decker: “You robbers, that’s a joke,” before repeatedly punching a glass partition screen, smashing it.

You robbers, that’s a joke

He then struggled violently, threatening to attack one officer before making vile threats to other officers.

Keen, a 26-year-old factory worker, of Waterloo Road, South Shore, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour, causing damage and resisting arrest.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, put on a 56 day curfew from 8pm to 5am, fined £150 with £80 victims’ surcharge and ordered to pay the bus driver £150 compensation plus a £150 court charge by Blackpool magistrates.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Keen boarded a bus on Central Drive, outside the Waterloo pub, on April 28 at 2pm.

He said to the driver “town” and she told him the fare would be £2. He then said: “Well the Tower then” and was told that would cost £1.50.

Keen then told the driver the cost was robbery and offered her £1. She told him repeatedly to get off the bus.

He punched the glass partition five or six times with one hand until it smashed, while trying to punch the driver round the glass with the other hand.

She managed to radio for help and was left shaking and crying as Keen fled.

He struggled so wildly when apprehended police reinforcements had to be called for and members of the public helped subdue him before he was placed in handcuffs and leg restraints.

Magistrates watched CCTV footage from the bus of Keen’s attack, which was shown on screens in the courtroom.

Mitch Sarangi, defending, told magistrates: “He felt he was being overcharged and he reacted bizarrely.

“Over the years he has been prone to some inappropriate behaviour. ]

“He recognises he over-reacted and that this was a quite disgraceful incident.”