Man jailed for fatal bus attack

A bus driver who used his single-decker bus to knock down and kill a man who tried to confront him over damage caused to his pick-up truck was jailed for seven and a half years yesterday.

Martin Barlow, 30, sustained fatal injuries when he was dragged for about 40 seconds under the bus, driven by Christopher Eggleton, 46, in Rochester, Kent. Mr Barlow had suspected that damage to his "pride and joy" Mitsubishi Trojan had been caused by a bus days before the incident, while it was parked near his home.

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

Eggleton, from Chatham, Kent, was convicted of manslaughter after previously pleading guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

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

According to an eye witness, Mr Barlow approached Eggleton's bus with his arms outstretched. 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".

The court heard how Mr Barlow was holding onto the windscreen wiper on the near side of the bus 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.

Eggleton drove on to his bus depot in Gillingham where he told colleagues that he thought he had just killed someone. He 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 said that, rather than just Mr Barlow, three or four men had surrounded his bus while banging on its sides and shouting. However, this version of events was disputed by witnesses.

Following sentencing, Chief Inspector Mark Arnold, of Kent Police, said: "This has been a tragic case for all of those involved, especially Mr Barlow's family. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific