Brighton bus supervisor sacked after removing 'drunk passenger insulting children'

Supervisor denies he acted aggressively and insists he was trying to protect himself

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The Independent Online

A long-serving Brighton bus supervisor has been sacked after removing a 'drunk' passenger who shouted abuse at children and threatened him with a bottle of vodka.

Nigel Thew said the man was shouting abuse in front of school children and refused to follow orders when he grabbed his jumper in a bid to get him off the bus. He resisted and they both fell.

He held the man against the ground until police arrived at the scene in Saltdean, East Sussex, to arrest him. Mr Thew broke his ankle in the altercation.

"This guy threatened to put a bottle in my face, he was holding it down by his side and had his fingers around the neck of the bottle," he told The Argus. "I didn't even grab him, I just grabbed his jumper and walked him off the bus."

The passenger pleaded guilty to using abusive language likely to cause "harassment, alarm or distress" and was fined £37 and ordered to pay costs of £105. Mr Thew was not charged with any offences.

"Nobody complained about my actions, not even the passenger on the bus," he added. "The only contact I had from the bus company after the incident was five days later when they said I had to attend a disciplinary meeting."

Mr Thew had worked for 17 years at the Brighton and Hove Bus Company before the incident took place in October last year. He was told he could not return to work.

The 52-year old denies he acted aggressively and insisted he was trying to protect himself.

Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton and Hove Bus Company, refused to comment on individual cases.

He said: "We have thorough procedures for investigating incident of this nature and clear CCTV recordings of what takes place on our buses.

"Such serious decisions would not be taken without clear evidence.

"Issues of data protection and confidentiality prevent me saying more on this case."