A Dapto tradie who terrorised a bus driver in front of dozens of children during a morning school run has narrowly avoided jail.
More than 20 students, some as young as six, witnessed Paul Nathan Talbot’s foul-mouthed tirade after boarding a Premier Illawarra bus at Oak Flats on March 24 last year and accusing the driver of failing to use his indicator.
Court documents reveal the victim, an experienced bus driver, had just collected students from a stop on Central Avenue when he pulled out into the roadway a distance in front of Talbot’s car.
Talbot immediately honked his horn in objection.
The bus driver said he continued for about 100 metres before seeing Talbot’s car move between the parked cars and the bus, as if attempting to overtake on the left.
Police said video footage from the bus appeared to show the two vehicles lightly colliding.
The driver subsequently stopped the bus to inspect the damage. He said Talbot boarded the bus and began abusing him in front of the students.
“Get the f—k out now c—t,” Talbot yelled, indicating for the driver to leave the vehicle.
The man refused, prompting Talbot to grab him by the shirt and attempt to punch him in the face.
“Who do you think you are c—t, pulling out f—king in front of me without looking,” Talbot yelled, accusing the driver of hitting his car.
Talbot eventually stormed off the bus, parting with the words “I’ll see you in court”.
He was arrested two days later.
In a statement tendered in court, police said Talbot admitted “losing control” but denied his actions would have caused the students on the bus to be scared.
Police begged to differ however, saying the CCTV footage clearly showed frightened children. They said one child was seen “crying hysterically”.
Talbot pleaded guilty in court on Monday to charges of affray and reckless driving. He was handed an eight month suspended prison sentence, fined $1,500 and banned from driving for three years.