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Brighton and Hove bus worker sacked after removing drunk
A bus supervisor was sacked from his job after scuffling with a drunk passenger who threatened him with a bottle.
Long-serving Brighton and Hove Bus Company employee Nigel Thew was fired after frogmarching an unruly passenger from a bus filled with school children.
While he recovered from a broken ankle sustained in the incident, Mr Thew was told by his employers he was going to be sacked for his actions.
The 52-year-old bus supervisor claims he has been harshly treated by his employers and denies that he was overly aggressive with the problem passenger.
The supervisor, who had been employed for 17 years, was called to the 27 bus travelling through Brighton after complaints that a passenger was drinking vodka on the bus and verbally abusing schoolchildren at about 4pm on October 24.
After boarding the bus Mr Thew spoke to the passenger and asked him to leave – but was met with verbal abuse.
The passenger then confronted Mr Thew with a vodka bottle which he held in a threatening manner.
Mr Thew, of Coleman Street in Brighton, grabbed the man’s jumper and walked him off the bus.
They both fell and Mr Thew broke his ankle in three places.
Despite his injury he held the man to the floor in Coombe Vale in Saltdean until police came and arrested the passenger.
The customer appeared in court a month later and pleaded guilty to using threatening words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress and was fined £37 and ordered to pay costs of £105.
The supervisor was not charged with any offences.
The matter has only now been brought to The Argus’s attention after Mr Thew had exhausted all appeal processes with the bus company.
He said: “Nobody complained about my actions, not even the passenger on the bus.
“The only contact I had from the bus company after the incident was five days later when they said I had to attend a disciplinary meeting.
“This guy threatened to put a bottle in my face, he was holding it down by his side and had his fingers around the neck of the bottle.
“I didn’t even grab him, I just grabbed his jumper and walked him off the bus.
“I protected myself so I didn’t get a bottle in my face.
“I have been doing this role for 14 years and he is not the first person I have had to remove from a bus.”
Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton and Hove Bus Company, said he was unable to comment on individual cases.
He said: “We have thorough procedures for investigating incident of this nature and clear CCTV recordings of what takes place on our buses.
“Such serious decisions would not be taken without clear evidence.
“Issues of data protection and confidentiality prevent me saying more on this case.”
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