London

Girl, 14, detained after hitting 87-year-old on Croydon bus

London bus
Image caption The pensioner was attacked on a London bus while travelling through Croydon

A 14-year-old girl who punched an 87-year-old woman on a bus so hard she had bruising for nearly a month has been detained for four months.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted hitting Marion Endecott in the face after boarding a 166 bus through Croydon on 16 October.

Ms Endecott told the court she had been left "petrified" by the attack and was "now always looking over her shoulder".

The judge said the attack was "very serious" and "could have killed her".

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Croydon Youth Court heard the 14-year-old punched the pensioner after getting into an argument with the bus driver when she boarded with another female and refused to pay the fare.

After the row, Ms Endecott tried to leave the bus as she did not want to be delayed and lived nearby.

The girl then laughed and when Ms Endecott said it was not funny, she responded by punching her in the face, the court heard.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The 14-year-old boarded a 166 bus in Brighton Road, Coulsdon

Reading the victim's statement in court, prosecutor Jonathan Efemini said the pensioner had "enjoyed using the buses, the independence they gave me".

"Since I was attacked I am now so frightened... Even in my house, when I hear a creak, I get scared someone is there", the statement said.

Raheema Jamal, mitigating, said the girl, who lives in care, had a troubled childhood that contributed to her actions.

District judge Peter Greenfield said a police interview had shown the girl "seemed to apportion blame on the lady, which is incredible".

The youngster was sentenced to 16 weeks, with half to be spent in detention before she must undergo a rehabilitation programme.

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