A MUM punched a bus driver in the face in front of his young passengers after he sent her two letters complaining about her son's poor behaviour.
Tammy Lee Stewart, 44, was so incensed by the claims her 14-year-old son had tormented other children she boarded the school bus at a stop at Marburg and demanded the driver, Laurence Martyn, 61, get off.
The mum of five said she wanted to "have it out with him" and when he refused she lashed out and punched him in the face, leaving blood streaming from his nose.
The one-sided brawl only stopped when one of the children on board the bus intervened.
Stewart this week faced Ipswich District Court, where Judge Deborah Richards branded her behaviour "appalling and disgraceful".
She was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service after admitting assault occasioning bodily harm, wilful damage and creating a disturbance on a school bus.
But the sentence was little consolation to Mr Martyn, of Laidley Heights, who said he gave up his job a couple of weeks after the attack on June 2 last year.
He said he had driven for Minden Bus Service for four years and still missed most of the children he used to drive to school.
"They physical attack was disgusting - what example was it setting? It was very unsavoury - it was like something out of a bar room," Mr Martyn said yesterday.
"You would never expect that from a mother - trying to get me off the bus to fight her.
"I was brought up to never hit a woman and had to restrain her three times.
"I demanded help from one of the bigger boys and fortunately he came and got her off me."
He said drivers were authorised to issue warnings to disruptive, poorly-behaved children and during his four years he had issued about 20 such notices.
He said he still had nightmares about the attack and had problems sleeping.
He said he thought he would be safer working on a rural bus route rather than in Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
"A lot of the kids I picked up were from farms and were good kids," he said.
"No kid is perfect but I thought I got along with them pretty well. I saw this as a job to take me into retirement - I never thought anything like this could happen."
Crown prosecutor Kris Ashen told the court that Stewart's behaviour was premeditated.
"It was done in front of children," Mr Ashen said. "It has obviously had a significant effect on the complainant."
Judge Richards said Stewart was not entitled to assault the driver because of her own son's bad behaviour.
"There is absolutely no excuse for they way you behaved that day - and you are right to be embarrassed by what you did," Judge Richards said.
Defence barrister Geoff Seaholme said Stewart had never intended to fight the driver in front of children, but had "lost it" and acted completely out of character.
Mr Seaholme said Stewart had since moved to Townsville to start a new life.
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