Probation order for man who fought teenagers aboard bus

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37962966)

A 32-YEAR-OLD man who got into a fight with two teenagers on the top deck of a bus has been given a six-month probation order.

The Magistrate’s Court was shown CCTV footage of the fight between Michael Robert Connor and the teenage boys – and of two passengers breaking it up.

Advocate Katie Ridley, prosecuting, said that on the evening of 16 June last year Connor had got on the number 15 bus at Liberation Station while intoxicated.

He misheard a conversation between the boys and became angry – shouting and swearing at them – before asking if they wanted to get off the bus and have a fight.

One of the teenagers punched Connor, thinking he was about to hit him, and the defendant grabbed him by the neck and punched him. The other boy hit Connor and the three continued fighting until two passengers got between them.

“The whole incident lasted a matter of minutes,” the advocate added.

The two teenagers were given written cautions and Connor later admitted a charge of acting in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace.

The court heard that he had previous convictions for grave and criminal assault, common assault and causing a breach of the peace by fighting. Advocate Mike Preston, defending, said Connor had misheard the teenagers and “misinterpreted the situation”.

He said that Connor was already attending the Probation Service on a voluntary basis, explaining: “He wants to improve himself and avoid trouble. He simply finds that very hard.”

Assistant Magistrate Adam Clarke told Connor: “This was an unnecessary and nasty incident. Given your record it could have been considered something for a custodial sentence.”

Imposing the probation order, he added: “This is a final opportunity for you to get out of the cycle of offending.”

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