Man stabbed defending London bus passengers has 'no regrets'

Tim Smits said he would "do it again"

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A man who was stabbed after standing up to a gang abusing a pregnant woman and a pensioner on a bus in east London said he would "do it again".

Tim Smits, 32, was stabbed in the stomach and leg and punched when he went to the aid of the two women on the number 488 bus on Wednesday morning.

The Australian graphic designer said he was "shocked" at being attacked but added: "I don't regret what I did".

Police said three suspects ran off after the attack in Parnell Road.

The victim was attacked on a bus travelling between Dalston and Bromley-by-Bow just before 11:00 BST after remonstrating with two men and a woman, police said.

The suspects, aged between 16 and 20, got off the bus through the emergency exit and ran away.

Mr Smits, who moved to London 18 months ago, said: "They were harassing a few people onboard the bus.

"I sort of drew the line when they decided to start picking on some elderly women with their shopping trolleys.

Start Quote

I don't regret what I did. I would do it again definitely”

End Quote Tim Smits

"I pulled these guys up on their manners and said 'what's going on... would you speak to your grandmother like that'.

"The response was 'who you talking to, who you talking to, shut up shut up, I'll spit in your face'."

Mr Smits said he decided to confront them verbally and not to leave his seat but one of the suspects came over and stood over him.

"Then he threatened my life and I said 'really? in front of all those witnesses on the bus in the broad daylight you want to do that with witnesses'.

"That's when he really scared me by saying 'I don't care - I'll mess you up in front of all these people'."

Mr Smits said he was hit in the head several times before he managed to pin his attacker's arms for a few seconds.

He said the attacker's friend grabbed him from behind and he was stabbed in the stomach and then his leg.

'Incredibly proud'

Mr Smits, who is now recovering at home, said he wished the bus driver "had done more".

He said his family was "incredibly proud" of him.

"I don't regret what I did. I would do it again definitely," he added.

Police said the first suspect was a black man, about 6ft (1.83m) tall, skinny and had the front of his hair sticking up and the back in plaits.

The second male suspect was white, about 5ft 10in (1.78m) tall, stocky and was wearing a red T-shirt, black tracksuit bottoms and beanie hat.

The woman suspect, who was also white, was about 5ft 3in (1.6m) tall, was wearing white leggings and had dark-brown long curly hair and black rimmed glasses.

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