Bus driver jailed over death of angry driver

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The Independent Online

A bus driver was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after being found guilty today of using his single-decker to mow down and kill a man who tried to confront him over damage caused to his pick-up truck.

Martin Barlow, 30, was dragged for about 40 seconds under the Arriva bus driven by Christopher Eggleton before being thrown clear into the road with fatal injuries.

Mr Barlow suspected that damage to his "pride and joy" Mitsubishi Trojan had been caused days earlier by a bus while it was parked near his home in Catherine Street in Rochester, Kent.

A trial at Maidstone Crown Court heard he contacted the bus company initially but "it appears got nowhere" so tried to trace the bus responsible himself.

Mr Barlow sustained multiple injuries, including cuts, bruises and fractures all over his body, after being run down by Eggleton's six-and-a-half tonne bus when he tried to confront him.

Eggleton, 46, of Dale Street, Chatham, was convicted of manslaughter today after previously pleading guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, police said.

Mr Barlow was killed after he flagged down two buses to question their drivers about the damage to his truck on the evening of April 3 last year.

After speaking to the first driver that passed at about 7.40pm, Mr Barlow approached Eggleton's bus with his arms outstretched, according to an eyewitness.

As Mr Barlow was about to reach the driver's side, the bus driver revved his engine and then moved forward towards him.

Prosecutor Richard Barraclough QC told the jury that Eggleton "knew that he was there but moved his bus forward nevertheless".

Mr Barlow ended up holding on to the windscreen wiper on the near side of the bus, within Eggleton's sight, before he was dragged under the vehicle.

He was crushed to death as his body was dragged some 435 metres before being thrown from under the bus and into the road.

Despite seriously injuring Mr Barlow, Eggleton drove on to his bus depot in Gillingham where he told colleagues that he thought he had just killed someone.

He then went to his bus inspector's home where he told a 999 operator that he thought he "had done wrong big style", the court heard.

Eggleton made up a story that three or four men had surrounded his bus while banging on its sides and shouting.

He claimed he panicked and continued to move forward in the bus in an effort to encourage Mr Barlow to move away.