Russell Edwards jailed for claw hammer attack on Bristol bus
A MAN who used a claw hammer to attack a teenager on a bus in broad daylight has been jailed.
Russell Edwards, 42, boarded the number 76 First Bus in Symes Avenue, Hartcliffe, at 1pm on February 6 – without paying the driver.
He then went upstairs, produced a hammer and attacked the teenager demanding cash and his mobile phone while other passengers fled.
Bizarrely, after the assault, Edwards apologised to the driver for the disturbance as he left the bus.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Edwards, of Green Ditch Avenue, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.
He wept in the dock as he was jailed for three years and four months at Bristol Crown Court yesterday.
John Penny, prosecuting, said the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sitting at the back of the top deck of the bus when Edwards appeared with the claw hammer.
"There were other passengers at the front of the top deck who left when they saw what was happening.
"The defendant demanded money and then hit the teenager in the face with the wooden handle of the hammer to re-enforce the demand.
"He handed over around £18 and then the defendant demanded his phone. He refused and the defendant patted him down and took it."
Mr Penny played a CCTV recording showing Edwards cornering the teenager before striking him with the handle of the hammer as he holds out his hand demanding cash.
Just before he leaves he is seen to strike the defendant twice with his left hand and then once with the head of the hammer to the head.
Mr Penny said when Edwards left the bus, with the hammer openly visible to other passengers, he shouted at the victim not to come back to Hartcliffe again.
He added: "As he left the bus he also said 'Sorry about that, drive.'
"Plainly there was a history between them but attempts to clarify what have been unsuccessful."
Mr Penny said Edwards had previous convictions for ABH, affray and possession of drugs with intent.
Simon Burns, defending, conceded that any right-thinking members of the public would be appalled by the attack and demand an immediate prison sentence. But added: "This was not a street mugging or robbery on public transport of a stranger or someone targeted simply out of greed."
Mr Burns said his client believed the teenager may have stolen from him and was enraged.
"Luckily the injuries were minimal but no doubt the distress was enormous," Mr Burns said. "He does have exceptional family circumstances. He has a 12-year-old son and a disabled mother for whom he cares. The impact on them will be enormous and I ask you keep the sentence as short as possible and not extinguish hope."
Recorder Mr Nicholas Atkinson QC told Edwards: "I am afraid this incident was pre-planned to an extent because you went in pursuit of this young man and chose to arm yourself with a claw hammer.
"You went onto the upper deck of the bus where other passengers were and attacked a man half your age. This incident was aggravated because it was during the day and on public transport."