Royce Andrew Bell leaves Ipswich Magistrates Court. Photo: Contributed
Royce Andrew Bell leaves Ipswich Magistrates Court. Photo: Contributed Contributed

Former prison officer attacks noisy kids on bus

A FORMER prison officer assaulted teenage students on a bus after he became irritated at the noise they were making.

The incident took place after Royce Andrew Bell boarded a public bus filled with school kids and other passengers in Springfield about 3pm.

The 47-year-old became enraged at the loud noise which had been coming from of a group of young students at the rear of the bus.

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He reacted by approaching two of the children and swearing at them.

After other passengers intervened, Bell returned to his seat but got up again and bodily struck two 14-year-old children who were trying to block him from walking down the bus aisle.

The disability pensioner was restrained by other passengers as the female driver stopped the bus.

The driver used herself as a human barricade to confine Bell to the front of the bus as the Camira man yelled threats and struggled to get past.

Bell grabbed hold of the driver's arm and twisted it.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, Bell pleaded guilty to a public nuisance charge and two counts of common assault.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said after the incident took place, officers were called to the scene and had to use "considerable force" to restrain Bell.

During the struggle with police, Bell was taken to the floor of the bus and broke his elbow.

He was additionally charged with obstructing police. The incident took place on May 7.

None of the victims sustained any serious injuries.

Defence lawyer Bill Leather said Bell had a "limited" criminal history with only one prior public nuisance offence.

Mr Leather said his client had been struggling with alcoholism as well as other issues but had taken steps towards rehabilitation.

In regards to punishment, Mr Leather suggested Bell would benefit from a probation order, through which his client could receive ongoing assistance.

Magistrate Aaron Simpson noted that Bell had little recollection of the incident, which may have been attributed to his alcohol dependency.

"Nevertheless, it would have been very distressing for all those involved, especially the children" he told Bell.

"At the end of the day you're an adult and even if you thought the children were being annoying it's not your place to intervene and act agressively towards them.

"It's certainly not rational behaviour."

Bell was sentenced to 18 months' probation. No convictions were recorded.

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