Racist bus passenger avoids jail

A bus driver who has been in this country for more than 40 years and driven a bus for 35 of them was told by a drunken passenger: “You are from Pakistan. You are a terrorist and you are blowing the f…… country up”.

Kurshidahmad Saiyed told Isleworth Crown Court: “I was very distressed at being abused like this. I have been a loyal public servant for so many years.” His tormentor, 42-year-old Anthony Cosgrove of Popes Lane, Ealing, was found guilty by Brentford magistrates of racially aggravated harassment, on August 28 last year.

Cosgrove was arrested in October and denied the charge, which was tried earlier this year. He was already subject to a suspended sentence for possessing firearms while prohibited.

Telling him he was very lucky not to be going straight to prison, Judge Hezlett Colgan suspended a six-month sentence for two years and told Cosgrove not to change his address for six months and to be under the supervision of the probation service. He said:

“You caused a bus driver harassment and distress and in doing that you used racist language. That is almost always an offence that means an immediate sentence of imprisonment. But you owe a great debt to your counsel who has just persuaded me not to send you to prison.”

Richmond & Twickenham Times, 20 October 2007