A PENSIONER was racially attacked by a Hereford bus driver following a dispute over a missed stop, a trial heard.

Andrzej Solarski was driving the number 72 bus when he left his cab to attack 76-year-old James Farrell.

Solarski, 38, was found guilty in his absence of racially aggravated common assault and racially aggravated criminal damage.

Omar Majid, prosecuting at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday, said the victim pressed the bell to get off the bus near Sheridan Road in Moor Farm.

However, the driver, who was talking to other passengers at the time, continued onto Yazor Road. As Mr Farell was getting off the bus he asked Solarski why he didn’t stop?

In reply the defendant said: “All you English c***s are the same” and said that he wasn’t supposed to pull over en route.

As Mr Farrell, who is Irish, was getting off the bus when he felt a presence that somebody was behind him and as he turned back he was aware Solarski had left the driver’s area.

He then grabbed Mr Farrell by his shirt causing buttons to rip and then pushed him back causing him to fall on the floor.

Mr Farrell said that he had earlier rung the bell twice but the driver failed to stop.

“He was aggressive and flustered and I just said open the door,” said Mr Farrell.

“I took a few paces when I heard a noise. I turned and the next thing I knew he was on me.”

Magistrates heard Mr Farrell also sustained a sprained finger from the attack on December 17.

Solarski got back onto the bus and drove away leaving Mr Farrell in a dazed state.

PC Matthew Davies said Solarski denied the offences and claimed Mr Farrell had racially abused him.

He claimed that Mr Farell had grabbed him around the neck and he reacted by pushing the male away who took a few steps back before falling off the bus.

The court heard that the Yeomans Travel buses were not fitted with security cameras but that Solarski had lost his job because of the court case.

Natalie Johnson-Stanley, a probation officer, said Solarski was currently homeless after losing his accommodation and planned to appeal the conviction.

However, Magistrates convicted Solarski of both offences and handed him a community order for nine months. He was also ordered to pay Mr Farrell £100 compensation for the attack and told to pay £620 costs, and a £50 fine.

Following the trial, Mr Farrell said: “As I’m Irish I thought that his comments were funny until he attacked me.”