Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Trio in court after 'very nasty' bus driver attack

Photo / File / Thinkstock
Photo / File / Thinkstock

A Christchurch bus driver was bashed, robbed, and spat at by three people late last night.

Pierce Michael Harrison, a 23-year-old gib stopper, along with 17-year-olds Lucy Anne Hamilton and Riapo Piripi Tipene, robbed a driver aged in his 40s on Marine Parade in New Brighton about 11.30pm, police say.

All three appeared in court today where a judge said it was a "very nasty" and concerning incident.

Police were called by witnesses who said the driver was spat at, grabbed around the neck and punched by two males and a female.

While the males assaulted the bus driver the female grabbed the coin tray from the bus, and the group made off with a small amount of cash, police say.

The three alleged offenders were located by a police dog unit and arrested nearby a short time later.

The bus driver was taken to hospital by ambulance with cuts to his face, and swelling and bruising to his face and neck. He was discharged this morning.

The trio appeared at Christchurch District Court this morning jointly charged with aggravated robbery.

Police did not oppose bail for Harrison, though Judge Duncan Harvey told him he was "very lucky" to receive bail.

He was remanded on bail with a number of "understandably stringent conditions", including that he must stay at his Phillipstown address, adhere to a 7pm to 7am daily curfew, not to associate with his alleged co-offenders, not to consume alcohol, drugs or legal highs, and not to use any form of public transport.

He will be back in court on March 19.

Police and probation both opposed bail for Hamilton.

Duty solicitor Phillip Allan applied for bail, citing her young age and denied that if the charges were proven she would be looking at a term of imprisonment.

He said there had been a "fracas" with the bus driver over his driving, and her behaviour.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Neil Williams said officers had viewed the CCTV footage.

Judge Harvey granted bail because of her age, on the same conditions as Harrison.

However, she later made a scene in court and was taken back into custody.

Duty solicitor Andrew Bailey did not make a bail application for Tipene, of Linwood. He was remanded in custody without plea until March 6.


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