'Since I was attacked I am now so frightened, it has changed me' - 87-year-old woman punched in face by teenager
CCTV shows an 87-year-old pensioner assaulted in an unprovoked attack for which a 14-year-old girl has been sentenced to four months in detention
Published 28/01/2016 | 20:29
An 87-year-old woman said she was left "petrified" after being punched by a teenager on a bus.
The youngster, a 14-year-old girl, was sentenced to four months in detention for the assault on the pensioner while on the 166 bus through Croydon last October.
During a sentencing hearing at Croydon Youth Court on Thursday, the court heard that the victim, Marion, had been left "changed" by the attack and was "always looking over her shoulder".
Reading her statement, Jonathan Efemini, prosecuting, said: "I enjoyed using the buses, the independence they gave me, and I liked talking to the drivers.
"Since I was attacked I am now so frightened.
"It has changed me. I am now always looking over my shoulder. I am petrified of bumping into the girl who punched me.
"Even in my house, when I hear a creak, I get scared someone is there."
The court heard that Marion was so traumatised by the event - which left her with painful bruising for almost a month - that she had to live with her daughter for two weeks.
"When I shut my eyes, especially when I go to the bus stop where it happened, I see her fist coming towards me. It's frightening," Mr Efemini read.
"Sometimes I go to sleep with the lights on. I never used to, but I feel better with them on."
The defendant, who cannot be named because of her age, admitted the attack at around 3.20pm on Friday October 16, following an argument with the bus driver.
Mr Efemini told the court that she had boarded the bus with another female, but refused to pay the fare.
After a row, the victim stood up to leave the bus because she did not want to be delayed and lived nearby.
The court heard that the defendant laughed, and when Marion said that it was not funny, she responded by punching her in the face.
The victim suffered bruising and swelling to her left eye and was taken to St Helier Hospital for treatment.
District judge Peter Greenfield gave the defendant the maximum possible detention sentence for her age and said: "This is very serious.
"If the victim had fallen back it could have killed her.
"I cannot fathom this at all. You clearly must have known the victim was older and vulnerable.
"It was a random attack on a clearly very vulnerable woman."
Raheema Jamal, mitigating, said the defendant, who lives in care and has a previous conviction for assault, had a troubled childhood which contributed to her actions.
But commenting on a police interview with the defendant, Judge Greenwood said: "You seemed to apportion blame on the lady, which is incredible.
"She was an innocent victim."
The judge sentenced the youngster to 16 weeks detention and training for common assault.
She will spend half the time in detention before undergoing a rehabilitation programme.
During the hearing, the defendant also pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal damage after throwing a table into a window at her home earlier this month.
Judge Greenfield described her as a "persistent offender" but did not award a separate sentence.