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I was attacked on the bus but...(17 Posts)
I've name changed for this because it's quite an outing story. There are a few people on here who'll recognise me from this story if anyone is unsure - I hope you're not.
A few months ago I was catching the bus to school, we go a couple of stops and I use crutches so I don't bother sitting down because it's harder getting up and down than it is standing for that distance. I was resting against the luggage rack, leaning back to take up as little room as possible, with a baby in my coat in a wrap and I had a 3 year old with me who was holding the rail opposite me.
A lady came up to me and glared, I thought she wanted me to move down thinking I was getting off, I wasn't in her way she could get past, so I said "It's OK, I'm not getting off" so she growled "Well I am!" so I said there was enough room to get past and she growled at me again "She's in my way" I said she wasn't and she'd move if she needed. So this woman shoved my daughter's head throwing her onto the floor. I of course saw red but on crutches (so short arms) and a baby in my coat I was rather limited to what I could do. I grabbed her coat and said "You just threw my daughter on the floor!" she said "I said excuse me!" which wasn't true, she'd just gone straight for the push, I said as much so she started on me.
I am rather hazy, as you can probably imagine, of the order of details. She grabbed my hair and pulled me down lower than my crutches, smacked/ scratched my face, gouged at my eyes, pushed and pulled my head, threw my glasses on the floor and trod them in so they were totally written off and I've had to replace them myself as I wasn't due a prescription and Specsavers don't do insurance. Eventually I realised I needed to do something - the only help I had was I heard a man say "don't worry love, I have your girl" and I'll point out now that the bus was full of little old ladies and I'm 5'9" and disabled so I don't blame them for keeping out - so I got a crutch free and hammered at her ankles, and we ended up thrown against the cab door.
She let go of me and the driver went to get out of his cab, I said "this woman just attacked me, call the police!" (would you believe he barely spoke a word of English? Not criticising foreigners but this guy had no idea what I or other passengers later was saying which delayed things) he got back in his cab and opened the doors! She said she was getting off and I said "Oh no you're not, you're waiting for the police!" he shut the doors again and I said "Call the police!" so he opened them and she got off. (where's the headbang emote?)
So anyway, eventually police come, ambulance arrives, Dad arrives with my eldest and takes them all home so I can go to hospital. Police are shocked by it all, they record two separate crime numbers and are taking the assault on my daughter as serious as the one on me. They said they'd also have recorded one for the baby but I had no way of knowing if she had been hit too.
For weeks after this event I had to get my parents to do the school runs because I couldn't get my 3 year old back on a bus. We had comments about "naughty lady" at home, for example I had been doing some paper craft and sliced my finger with a paper trimmer, she saw it a few days later and said "Ow" I said "It's ok, it's only a scratch" and she looked at me worried and said "Lady?" When I eventually did she sat next to me with her hands in her lap saying "naughty lady".
They mailed me to say they had seen the video and it tallied with what I said, they had found where she got on and that she used a swipe card so they felt they could trace her. It then all goes quiet for a few months. This is what I was told when I eventually manage to get hold of someone.
They saw the CCTV and were angry, they were ready to go out and arrest this woman. They said it was vicious and they wanted the full weight of the law etc. They then meet the woman... She has a few years ago had a stroke. She doesn't use walking aids, her behaviour is not affected, the only thing affected is her speech. They told me that when they met her she could barely form a sentence, which doesn't fit my statement but they did have a doctor who's been treating her agree that she can barely talk. They have decided that if they took it to the CPS they'd be laughed at and court would be no better.
I'm angry that this woman who they were shocked at her attack on me and my daughter and wanting to do everything possible they're willing to let go because she can't make a full sentence! I'm not happy that they want to leave it. Is there anything I can do or am I going to be laughed at too?
Can they not see her speaking on the CCTV? Sorry, not very helpful but I didn't want you to completely unanswered.
That is really awful and I hope you manage to get it sorted.
If they are saying it doesn't affect her behaviour I don't know how they can possibly let her away with it, does that mean anyone who has something wrong with them or can't speak or is deaf can get away with what ever they like?
Something just doesn't seem right about that.
Oh you poor thing. What a terrible thing to happen. I fear that pursuing this is likely to be a long stressful journey I think
I would be inclined to go along with the the advice from the police. Perhaps the suspect's health has declined since the attack on you?
are they sure it's the same woman who attacked you? is it possible the woman on the bus was using her mums/aunts/sister's swipe card and has gotten the sister (whoever) to cover for her as she is likely to get away with it due to lack of speech?
just an idea but worth making sure teh woman tehy are talkimg to is teh woman who attacked you. how clear is the cctv?
There's no sound on the CCTV so they can't work out who said what. SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus, that was exactly my thoughts, free pass
whistlestopcafe, they've said that other than her speech there's nothing wrong with her and it's been something like 5 years since her stroke.
TiredBooyhoo, she didn't deny it was her and the locations would fit it being her. I'm not sure there'd be anyway to know. I haven't seen the video so I'm not sure what it's like.
Have you witness statements? Why not do a private prosecution. CPS doesn't have a spine.
The ladies on the bus gave me their phone numbers to pass onto the police, so I assume the police have that. I'm not sure other than what she said they can say different to the CCTV though and I don't believe her speech is here nor there, it obviously didn't stop her beating up a disabled woman who was holding a baby nor from shoving a 3yo onto the floor of a moving bus.
I don't know how you do a private prosecution. I agree about CPS, if they'd be scared to prosecute someone because her speech isn't very good, doesn't say a lot really
Have you seen the CCTV ?
I would try and establish if the police are not proceeding because they think she will not be fit to stand trial because of her speech (like Margaret Moran).
If this is the case you could in principle proceed as in the Moran case and have the case "proved" at court in her absence.
Might be helpful if you can try to get in contact with you local CPS, as I'm sure they would at least suck their teeth over a case like this.
Plod will want to throw it out because they can't be arsed.
But ultimately what good will come of any of this ?
I have no advice for you re: the legal aspect of this, unfortunately, but just wanted to ask if you have had any contact with Victim Support or any form of counselling offered to you? You have had a terrible shock, as has your little girl. I would imagine you might benefit from a chance to talk it over?
"what good will come of any of this? "
you dont think OP should pursue it? the woman assaulted a child and a disabled woman holding a baby. that is serious! the woman may have limited speech but that doesn't mean she shouldn't be held accountable for her actions. it's called justice. should all victims of assault just forget it happened and never report it because " what good will come of any of this?" at the very least this woman needs to know that her behaviour was wrong and hopefully she wont hurt anyone else in a fit of temper.
My comment is primarily with regard to the specific case of the attacker being found unfit to stand trial, not the general case.
I feel that is clear from the preceding comments.
How does her ability to speak have anything to do with her physically attacking you? Ridiculous
for you. Poor you, and poor your daughter.
I would take it further any way you can. She should not be allowed to walk on the streets, if she does not understand that she cannot attacks children and disabled people, and then hide behind limited speech.
i dont think it was clear TBH. it seemed as if you were saying "why bother" as if OP was being petty for pursuing it.
apologies as i have misinterpreted your post.
OP I 'know' you and am so sorry that nothing is being done about this. You and your dd had an awful experience and really suffered.
However knowing your situation I fear that chasing this to get the woman prosecuted will be too exhausting for you when you have other things that need your energy at the moment.
It may be the sensible thing to just let this go, much as in your shoes I would want to see justice served.
I've no good advice but wanted to say I'm so sorry this happened to you and your DC. Also to reiterate what Michelle said about victim support.
It is not for the police to decide whether CPS will go forward with a prosecution or not. They should pass on the information for CPS to make a decision on.
My DH said if you are entitled to ring your local police back and insist they take the evidence to CPS and see what they say.
If you get no joy, he suggests contacting the 'Professional Standards' department of your local police force and asking why a crime with cctv footage, witnesses and a known assailant is not being dealt with.
They should be dealing with this
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