Bus basher’s sorry letter to victim

Written By komlim puldel on Rabu, 17 September 2014 | 20.01

A young woman who assaulted a 77-year-old partly-blind pensioner on a Gold Coast bus has been given a suspended jail sentence and slammed by a magistrate as a 'lout and an idiot.'

PARTLY blind pensioner Paul Buttigieg broke down yesterday when told that one of the two young women who savagely bashed him on a Gold Coast bus had just walked free from court.

"I hate them," said a tearful Mr Buttigieg, 77.

"I don't want to see them ever again."

ON VIDEO: Elderly man targeted in vicious bus attack

Larna Watmough was given a suspended sentence today and was abused when she left the building.

Despite being slammed by a magistrate as a "lout" and an "idiot" for the cowardly attack on "a defenceless old man", Larna Watmough escaped with a suspended two-month jail sentence.

Southport Magistrates Court heard 21-year-old Watmough – a cousin of NRL bad boy Anthony Watmough – and her friend Layni Cameron, 17, had unleashed a flurry of punches and kicks on the retired jockey and screamed racial abuse at him and other passengers on the Surfside bus.

Mr Buttigieg, who had been on his way home from the local bowls club, was also spat on. Footage of the incident was played at the sentencing hearing before a hushed courtroom.

Larna Watmough outside court yesterday. Pic: Richard Gosling

But despite blasting the absolutely deplorable attack and telling Watmough she could go to jail for up to seven years, magistrate Gary Finger spared her ­actual time behind bars.

Prosecutor Danielle Hunt said Mr Buttigieg suffered bruising to both arms and a cut lip, and his prescription glasses were broken. Calling for a jail sentence, Ms Hunt said Watmough and Cameron had displayed "senseless, gratuitous violence ... which must be denounced by the court".

Defence lawyer Jodi Allen said the altercation came after Mr Buttigieg told Watmough and Cameron to "go back to where you came from".

Bus attack victim Paul Buttigieg at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club yesterday. Pic: Regi Varghese

She said a witness told of seeing Mr Buttigieg hit the girls as they got off the bus.

Watmough had admitted to having "stuffed up in a big way" and had written a letter of apology to Mr Buttigieg, which was tendered to the court. In it, she said: "If we ever do happen to see each other, I hope we can say hello and accept it was a mistake."

Mr Finger jailed Watmough for two months but ordered the sentence be wholly suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to pay $500 compensation and given 12 months' probation for the public nuisance charge.

The case against Cameron was adjourned.

Larna Watmough's apology letter to her victim. Source: Supplied

Larna Watmough's apology letter to her victim. Source: Supplied

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