Saturday, October 18, 2008

Batty Britain: Thug who killed a bus passenger for asking him to stop swearing jailed for just 27 months

A drunken yob who killed a man by pushing him off a bus has been jailed for just 27 months. Gary Robson admitted the manslaughter of former soldier Stan Dixon, 60, who had ticked him off for swearing. The judge in his case told Newcastle Crown Court the sentence he had to give was governed by rules 'laid down by higher courts'. To add insult to injury, under current rules the 23-year-old is likely to serve only half his time and should be out by next August at the latest.

Mr Dixon's partner Anne Fisher, 41, was too upset to comment immediately after the hearing and many of his friends were stunned by the length of the jail term. Later, Mrs Fisher said: 'Stan was a good man with a great sense of humour who would do anything for anybody and wouldn't hurt anyone. 'He was standing up for what he believed in and was protecting me at the time. Since he died it's been like a bad dream and I can't imagine life without him.'

Mr Dixon intervened after Mrs Fisher had challenged Robson for using obscene language as they travelled home to Peterlee, County Durham, on a late night bus from Hartlepool last June. Robson, a call- centre worker, was upsetting passengers with his foul-mouthed tirade and when he began to verbally abuse his girlfriend Mrs Fisher 'remonstrated' with him. Prosecutor Ewan Duff said she asked the defendant to stop swearing as there were young girls on the bus.

Robson swore at Mrs Fisher, saying something to her like 'what the **** has it got to do with you'. Mr Dixon then stepped in and told the burly yob: 'That's my girlfriend you're talking to.' The pair continued to argue as the bus moved along, and Robson tried to attack the older man, but was held back by his friend and partner. Mrs Fisher appealed to the driver to stop the bus and told Mr Dixon, a divorced father of three, to get off. He momentarily got back on the bus to pass on his name and address to the driver.

At that point, Robson pushed past Mrs Fisher, knocking off her glasses, and 'quite deliberately' shoved his victim 'forcefully' in the chest with two hands. Mr Dixon fell backwards on to the pavement, smashing his head on the ground, and suffered a catastrophic brain injury. He died four days later in hospital. The court heard that after the attack Robson went home and bought himself a pizza.

He was arrested the next day and initially denied any involvement, before pleading guilty at court. Defence barrister Richard Bloomfield said he was ' genuinely remorseful'. He said: 'He will always have to carry with him the knowledge he was responsible for the death of another person, albeit unintended.'

Judge David Hodson said such cases were among the most difficult any court has to deal with. He said: 'I hope it can be clearly understood that the sentence this court will pass is not and can never ever be a valuation of the life that has been lost. 'I hope it can be understood the court has to proceed in accordance with sentencing principles and authorities laid down by the higher courts. 'The court must have in mind the unlawful act was done without any intention to kill or cause really serious harm.'

Mr Dixon, who divorced the mother of his three grown-up children in 1999, had met Mrs Fisher in 2002. His daughter June, 31, issued a statement on behalf of herself, sister Louise, 25, and brother Paul, 34. She said: 'My father Stanley Edward Dixon was an oldfashioned, traditional man, who will never be able to see his grandson grow up. 'He didn't deserve to die like this but he can now rest in peace and we can all move on.'

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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