A BUS driver attacked an elderly passenger and trapped his arm in the bus’s door, York Magistrates Court heard.

District judge Adrian Lower said Nathan Shaun Merryweather, 25, started the incident by ordering the man off the No 13 Connexions bus for no reason.

When the puzzled man, who was in his seventies, obeyed, Merryweather followed him off the bus and shoved him.

“His arm became trapped in the door mechanism.

“It must have been very painful indeed,” the district judge said.

In a victim personal statement, the victim said: “I just cannot understand why he behaved in the way he did. I wasn’t rude to him. If the bus stop hadn’t propped me up, I would have fallen over backwards when he pushed me.”

He said he is a regular bus traveller, relying on public transport to get around, but now avoids the No 13 Copmanthorpe-Haxby Connexions for fear Merryweather will be driving.

The court heard Merryweather was taken off driving duties and now faces a disciplinary hearing.

His employers will report his conviction to the Traffic Commissioners and he may lose his PSV licence, which enables him to drive buses.

Merryweather, of Maltongate, Thornton-le-Dale, pleaded guilty to assaulting the elderly man on May 4 at a Blossom Street bus stop.

He was given a 12-month community order with 15 days’ rehabilitative activities and 120 hours’ unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim and £85 prosecution costs.

For him, Keith Whitehouse said: “This is utterly out of character. He is utterly devastated.”

His only explanation was that he had been under a lot of stress and anxiety at the time.

He had been suffering from mental illness but had not sought medical help until after the incident.

“You blew your top,” the district judge told Merryweather.

Reading references handed by the defence, he described the former bus driver as “someone who recognises the needs for others and can prioritise these over his own, and someone that for all intents and purposes is ideally suited to working with members of the public.”

But his conviction could well prevent him working as a bus driver in future.