May 23 2013 Latest news:
by Jon Dean
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A brave bus passenger who was stabbed standing up to thugs threatening elderly women says the streets will be safer now that the “menace” who attacked him is behind bars.
Tim Smits, 33, from Islington, was at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday to see Sanchez Brown jailed for a minimum of almost six years for wounding with intent.
Last September, 19-year-old Brown, Blake Mehmet and another youth began abusing passengers, including a group of elderly women, on the 488 bus between Dalston and Bromley-by-Bow.
Mr Smits stood up to them but was knifed twice by Brown, resulting in a lengthy hospital stay and a spell of rehabilitation.
Last month, he was given Olympic tickets by Islington Council in recognition of his courage.
He said after the sentence: “It was a good day. I went to court to see it all unfold and I was pretty happy with the result.
“He is locked up and the judge won’t let him out until he thinks it’s right.
“The neighbourhood will be a lot safer now – this guy was a menace. In court we heard about his previous offences.
“He has a terrible history, especially for such a young man.
“It feels like a bit of closure. The last eight months have been hard with this hanging over me and there was a lot of anxiety over whether he would get off lightly.
“But now I feel I can move forward with the next stage of my life.
“It was so draining I didn’t celebrate really. Now I feel like jumping up and down outside, but I can’t because it’s raining.
“The streets will be a lot safer now he is behind bars.
“When I think of all the people he has bullied and harassed over the years – this is justice for all of us.”
Det Con Alex Wildish said: “The victim’s actions that day have since led to him being rewarded for his bravery and they demonstrate a true London spirit, defending the vulnerable and challenging inappropriate and unwanted behaviour in our community.”
Brown, of Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, was given an indeterminate sentence of at least five years and nine months for grievous bodily harm with intent and an unrelated obbery. He admitted the wounding offence at an earlier hearing.
Mehmet, 19 of Springfield, Hackney, who punched Mr Smits in the attack, received a four-month sentence for affray.