Devon

Man who hurled concrete block at school bus sentenced

Brick in bus Image copyright Dylan Hainey/Plymouth Live
Image caption The judge said it was "purely by luck" no one on the bus was injured

A man who threw a concrete block into a school bus full of children has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Stephen Williams, 54, had no recollection of the incident during which he "repeatedly" punched a police officer, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

He has since been diagnosed with two mental health illnesses which Judge Timothy Rose described as an "explanation" for Williams' actions.

"What you did... was shockingly violent and truly awful", he added.

He said it was "purely by luck" Williams' actions resulted in no injuries to the children on the bus.

Image copyright Dylan Hainey/Plymouth Live
Image caption The incident happened outside Widewell Primary School

However, when confronted by the police he "repeatedly" punched PC Charlotte Pickles in the face.

This impacted the officer "physically and mentally and emotionally", the court heard.

Mr Williams from Plymouth was suffering two undiagnosed mental health issues at the time of the incident on 21 June, which meant he was "not in a normal state of mind at the time", the judge added.

He said if it was not for the background information and Williams' mental health, he would have gone to prison.

Image copyright Dylan Hainey/Plymouth Live
Image caption The bus was carrying children from Tor Bridge High in Plymouth

The nine-month sentence was suspended for 18 months.

The judge ordered Williams to attend all rehabilitation appointments and have a four-month curfew from 19:00 to 06:00.

He was also ordered to pay PC Pickles £300 compensation.

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