Grafton man's drunken assault of two courtesy bus drivers

A GRAFTON man launched into a violent assault on a Grafton hotel's courtesy bus driver while he was behind the wheel after the drunken attacker believed the driver was taking the wrong route, a court has heard.

Shane Victor Bamblett, 49, was sentenced in Grafton Local Court for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault for the attack which took place just days before Christmas last year.

The court heard that on December 20 last year Bamblett was at a friend's address in Grafton for a few drinks before he and others travelled by taxi to Post Office Hotel in South Grafton.

Once there Bamblett consumed further alcoholic drinks and then requested to be taken home by the courtesy bus driver, and they left about 10.30pm.

Court documents reveal that while travelling along Turf St Bamblett stood up on the bus and said to the driver "you're not taking me home" before repeatedly punching him in the head and face while driving.

The court heard the victim felt immediate pain and blood running down his face.

A witness tried to intervene and stop Bamblett from punching the driver.

The court heard the victim managed to pull the bus over to the side of the road near Turf St and Fanning Ave and got out of the bus.

Bamblett has also got off the bus and continued to punch the victim in the face, causing the victim to fall to the ground.

While the victim was on the ground, the courtesy bus driver for the Village Green Hotel pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road behind the PO Hotel courtesy bus to aid the first victim and stop the assault. Bamblett then punched the second victim in the face before fleeing the area.

After the assault the PO Hotel bus driver dropped the remaining passengers off before finishing work and then attending Grafton Base Hospital for treatment to the injuries he received.

The Village Green Hotel bus driver also finished his passenger route before reporting the assault to management, who then reported the incident to police.

On April 9 police spoke to Bamblett who declined an opportunity to be interviewed and he was charged.

Bamblett was also sentenced in Grafton Local Court on Wednesday for common assault, contravening a prohibition of an apprehended violence order and assaulting a police officer in execution of their duty for an unrelated matter involving Bamblett's ex-partner.

Magistrate Kathy Crittenden sentenced Bamblett to 16 months behind bars, with a non parole period of 10 months due to expire on June 27 next year.


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