Man told to remove internet footage of bus driver brawl

A bus passenger who posted a video on the internet of him grappling with a bus driver in Norwich city centre has been told to take it down.

Noel Tamsett, 51, who was last month found guilty of assaulting bus driver Tom Ballard, 47, appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court yesterday for sentencing.

He was given a restraining order not to contact First driver Mr Ballard or to talk about him on any internet sites.

The Crown withdrew a charge of harassment without violence and accepted that the restraining order would protect Mr Ballard from future harassment from Tamsett.

District Judge Philip Browning told Tamsett that a video he posted on the internet, showing CCTV footage of the incident, had to be taken down.

Tamsett, of Gentry Place, Marlpit, Norwich, was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order, and must pay Mr Ballard �250 compensation, but no order for costs was made.

Tamsett said in the dock that he would immediately appeal the original conviction.

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As he left the dock, he said: 'I cannot afford to lose 1p from my benefits.'

As reported by the Evening News, Tamsett had grappled with Mr Ballard, kicked him in the groin and ripped his shirt, as onlookers watched on in Norwich city centre, on Saturday, July 31.

Mr Ballard restrained Tamsett by pinning him against a wall after coming under attack in Bank Plain.

Tamsett had become aggressive after boarding the number 19 bus in Larkman Lane, Norwich, because a previous service had not turned up.

He had sworn at the driver and then waited until the bus arrived at his destination, before approaching Mr Ballard again, and ripping his shirt. Mr Ballard had then followed Tamsett off the bus and called police on his phone while he pinned him up against a wall.

Tamsett had denied assaulting Mr Ballard and claimed that the bus driver had, in fact, assaulted him.

Mr Ballard suffered a cut to his face and scratches to his chest, and his spectacles were smashed.

Daniel Messenger, for Tamsett, said yesterday that his client was 'prone to not thinking before he spoke'.

Mr Messenger added: 'But, given time for contemplation, he is a very affable man.'

Sentencing him, Mr Browning told Tamsett: 'You can be even-tempered and a good member of society, but there are two sides to you.

'This was an assault on a public servant, which is serious.'