The Independent London Newspaper

Judge warns night bus attacks will be punished

AN Old Bailey judge has warned that night time assaults on the notorious night bus routes through Camden Town will be dealt with severely by the courts. Judge Peter Rook, QC, spoke out today (Friday) when he jailed pony-tailed Jacob Vessey for four years for terrorising a fellow passenger with a knife – days after being bailed for carrying a blade. Victim Michael Joslyn, 24, from Camden Town, was subjected to a horrific ordeal on a crowded N29 bendy bus and then on the pavement when he tried to escape, said prosecutor Jonathan Jones. Mr Joslyn was on his way home from an evening with friends Hardip Sahota and Kris Joyex when they were targeted by a group of troublemakers, led by Jacob Vessey. On May 22, the pals were returning to spend the night at a flat in Finsbury Park after enjoying a trip to Soho when Vessey, 20, of Waldegrave Road, Turnpike Lane, barged into Mr Joslyn. Vessey and his mates were “looking for trouble”, said Mr Jones. He began swearing at Mr Joslyn and snarled: 'I'll cut your eyes out.' Then he said: “Give us your stuff and we'll leave it at that. Give us all you've got or we'll f**k you up.” On the pavement, a knife was aimed at the victim's stomach “and by sheer good fortune he did not suffer any life threatening injury.” An attempt was made to rob Mr Joslyn and he was slightly injured before Vessey ran off. He was not arrested until July 1 when police recovered a lock knife from his bedside. Convicted of attempted wounding and attempted robbery, Vessey – he protested his innocence and said he had been mistakenly identified – has several criminal convictions and was “a risk to the public,” said the judge. He added: “Sadly people like you have become part of the knife culture which blights our cities. Acting with others, you decided to harass and intimidate complete strangers. People are entitled to use night buses without being attacked like this.” DAVID ST GEORGE

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