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Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

A man has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order after he was convicted of attacking a man on a bus.

Rene Thomas, 36 (24.05.84) of Murray Grove, N1 was sentenced on Wednesday, 4 November at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to grievous bodily harm with intent and being in possession of a bladed article in a public place following a violent attack on a route 30 bus on Friday 25 October 2019.

At 22:32hrs on the night of the attack, police were called to a number 30 bus, which was situated on Dalston Lane, E8 opposite the junction of Beechwood Road E8.

The caller reported that a man had been stabbed on the top deck of the bus.

Upon arrival, officers found the victim – a man aged in his 20’s, sat with his girlfriend with a scarf to his neck covering the wound.

Officers inspected the wound and saw that the victim had sustained a laceration to the right side of his neck that was approximately 10cm in length and 1.5cm deep.

London Ambulance Services attended and took the victim to an east London hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The victim told officers that he got on the bus at Kings Cross with his girlfriend and sat on the upper deck in the aisle seat. He was three rows from the back of the bus.

A short while after, Thomas boarded the bus. He had the bottom half of his face covered by a mask and had his hood up. He made his way to the top deck of the bus and sat a couple of rows behind the victim. There was no interaction between either men.

At Dalston Lane bus stop, a number of people exited the bus. All of a sudden, the victim felt the suspect behind him slap him and a push movement to his head. This was the moment Thomas slashed the victim’s neck.

A hunt for the offender was launched by officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command.

Officers viewed CCTV records and searched through the passenger list. A freedom pass card registered to Thomas was tapped onto the bus and matched his description; making him the primary suspect.

A planned arrest operation was executed on 30 October and Thomas was detained at his home address at 06:50hrs.

He was taken to a north London police station. He was charged on 31 October to attend Thames Magistrates Court.

The investigating officer, PC Bowman, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command (RTPC), said: “The evidence against Thomas was overwhelmingly strong, leaving him with no option but to plead guilty and sparing the distress of having to go through a drawn out trial and relive a truly awful situation.

“While this was a totally unprovoked attack, I would like to remind members of the public that the London Bus Network remains a safe transportation system and that attacks such as this are a rare occurrence.”

DCI Dave Hindmarsh, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command, added: “This was a horrific and unprovoked attack on a bus.

“The victim sustained serious injuries although is now recovering. I would like to thank him for his bravery. Thomas was quickly identified and arrested by officers from the RTPC Task Team.

“Detectives from RTPC CID conducted a diligent investigation securing conviction. We are determined to work in partnership with TFL to make London’s transport network the safest in the world.

“The excellent CCTV footage from the bus should serve as a reminder to anyone thinking of committing any crime on the bus network; we will identify you, and you will be caught.”

Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance, Policing Operations and Security at TfL, said: “We welcome Thomas’ conviction for this truly heinous crime. All our customers have the right to travel in safety on our network and we have worked with the police to bring the perpetrator to justice. Violent incidents on our bus network are thankfully extremely rare, and we always support the strongest possible action against anyone who endangers our customers or staff.”

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