An innocent bus driver was been stabbed in the head by a screaming woman who claims she mistook him for someone who threatened her family two days before, a court has heard.
Veraty Johnston admitted attacking the driver in front of a packed bus, leaving the 61-year-old covered in blood and in deep shock.
She allegedly cried out “rape” as she plunged a two-inch blade into the man’s head, attacking him three or four times as shocked commuters looked on.
In Norwich City Magistrates Court today, Johnston admitted causing actual bodily harm to the bus driver, who was riding as a passenger on his way to work at the time of the attack.
Johnston claims to have mistaken the man for someone she says threatened her and her family two days before.
After the attack Johnston was arrested and taken away from the scene, before being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
She is still receiving voluntary treatment for an unspecified mental illness at Norwich’s Hellesdon Hospital, but is said to be “feeling well” and was deemed fit enough to attend court and enter a plea.
The attack begun at around 8.15am on May 1 this year. Johnston is said to have got onto the bus, approached the victim and asked him to move seats so she could sit down. The victim did so, choosing to sit near the bus driver.
Shortly after this exchange - and just as the bus approached the depot - Johnston struck the man with a “red-handled multi-tool with a two-inch blade”, leaving him lying on the ground covered in blood.
Johnston apparently screamed “I know you” and “rape” as she stood over the prone man, and raised her hand as if intending to stab him again.
The victim claims he could feel blood pouring from a 1cm cut on his head, but managed to tell the woman to calm down.
Although the man did not require hospital treatment for his injury, the dispatch of an air ambulance brought rush-hour travel chaos to the Norwich suburb of Dereham.
The man defending Johnston, Dave Foulkes, said his client now “fully accepts the victim was not known to her”.
The case was adjourned for reports to September 16 and Johnston was bailed.