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Violent mugger caged for bus attack

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

VIOLENT Jonathan Swart is having his first taste of life behind bars today after he was jailed for four years for mugging a bus driver.

Sentencing the 28-year-old, Judge John Holt described the attack on Spencer Peters in Ipswich as a serious offence, which had left the victim a changed and damaged man.

VIOLENT Jonathan Swart is having his first taste of life behind bars today after he was jailed for four years for mugging a bus driver.

Sentencing the 28-year-old, Judge John Holt described the attack on Spencer Peters in Ipswich as a serious offence, which had left the victim a changed and damaged man.

"Mr Peters suffered an injury to his eye as a result of which he has to wear glasses for driving. He also suffered post traumatic stress disorder, the upshot being that since the attack in April last year he hasn't managed a full month at work," he said.

"Up to the attack he was in good health and enjoying a normal life and job. Now he finds it hard to go out of the house and doesn't believe he will be able to get in a bus again. He gets panic attacks."

Mr Peters had left work in Constantine Road, Ipswich, at about 11.30pm and was walking along Yarmouth Road when Swart appeared from the steps leading down to the river and demanded money, the court had heard.

When Mr Peters refused, Swart punched him in the face and lip and then, together with another person, kicked him to the ground, raining punched to his head and body.

"Mr Peters tried to crawl away, he grabbed a railing and you then, as he said in his evidence, smacked him one," Mr Holt told Swart at Bury Crown Court yesterday.

Mr Peters was then pulled halfway down the steps leading to the river and another demand for money was made. An attempt was made to remove his watch and necklace and the attack ended after Swart took Mr Peter's wallet containing £20.

Samantha Leigh, mitigating, told the court that Swart, who has a four-year-old daughter, had never been to jail and was "extremely fearful" at the prospect.

"He stands to lose his job, his house and his daughter – everything that is important to him," she said.

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