December 6 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A court heard how a woman cried out ‘rape’ as she stabbed a bus driver in the head, after mistaking him for someone else.
Veraty Johnston, 27, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, when she appeared before Norwich magistrates yesterday.
The court heard that Johnston struck the driver three or four times with a multi-tool, which had a 2-inch blade.
The driver, aged 61 at the time, was on his way to work in the city and was sitting with a colleague at the front of the bus, as it approached Norwich bus station in Surrey Street.
The court heard that Johnston had mistaken the man for someone who had threatened her in Dereham two days before.
Lisa Britton, prosecuting, said the driver got on the number 8 Konectbus 7.35am service from Dereham to Norwich with a colleague at about 7.10am on May 1.
She said: “After about 20 minutes the defendant boarded the bus. She approached the victim and asked if she could take his seat. “He got up and sat next to his colleague. There was no conversation between the victim and the defendant on the journey.
“At 8.15am the bus was coming in to Norwich city centre.
“The victim felt a blow to the top of his head. The woman had hit him with a red-handled multi-tool with a 2-inch blade.
“He said she was standing over him with the knife raised in her hand, as if she was going to strike him again.
“‘I know you’, she shouted at him. ‘Rape’. He told her to calm down, as he could feel blood running down the side of his face. “He had a 1cm cut to his head, which was treated by paramedics at the scene. He did not need hospital treatment but was in shock and said he had never seen the woman before. Police arrived and arrested Johnston.”
In interview, Johnston said that two days before she had been threatened by a man who said he was going to get her and her family. She said she started to think the victim was the man who had threatened her.
The court heard that Johnston, who is currently receiving treatment at Hellesdon Hospital for a mental illness, was well enough, according to doctors, to attend court and plead.
Dave Foulkes, for Johnston, said: “She fully accepts the victim was not known to her. She was taken to Hellesdon Hospital where she was sectioned under the Mental Health act. More recently she has been staying at the hospital voluntarily. She’s receiving treatment and feeling well.”
The case was adjourned for reports to September 16.
Konectbus said at the time that the driver, who lived in Attleborough, had been with the firm for less than a fortnight, but had been a bus driver for 20 years. A spokesman said yesterday that it did not wish to comment further.