Commuter spared jail for elbowing woman in face on crowded Tube

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A commuter who elbowed a woman in the face during rush hour on the Tube because she bumped into him was spared jail today.

Robert Bucknor-Smartt, 38, admitted the “red mist” descended when he swung at Karen Daley as they tried to get off the train at Liverpool Street station. 

Bucknor-Smatt, who works for a pharmaceutical company, flew into a rage when Ms Daley accidentally fell into him, wrongly believing she had kicked him in the leg, Westminster magistrates court heard. 

“Ms Daley stood up to make her way to the door to get off, and the defendant also stood up and headed to the doors, in front of her,” said prosecutor Malachy Pakenham. 

“The victim accidentally fell into the defendant due to the motion of the train juddering to a halt. 

“The defendant then started to make his way down the aisle, and as he reached the vestibule area he suddenly lifted his elbow up violently, spun round and using the elbow he struck Karen Daley on the right side of her face.”

The court heard she fell to the floor, while Bucknor-Smartt got off the train and complained to police at the station that he had been racially abused and assaulted. 

However, Ms Daley told officers she was the victim, and CCTV backed her account of the incident, which happened on February 7 at around 9.30am. 

In interview, Bucknor-Smartt again denied assaulting Ms Daley, claiming he was the victim, but later admitted the attack when shown CCTV footage. 

“He said he had no idea why he did it, it was just the red mist”, added Mr Pakenham. 

Bucknor-Smartt wept uncontrollably in the dock as he pleaded guilty to assault by beating on Monday, and wiped away tears again today as he was sentenced. 

The court heard Ms Daley suffered nerve damage in her face, leading to numbness in the weeks after the attack, and needed dental treatment because one of her teeth had been knocked loose. 

Khalid Peerbux, defending, said Bucknor-Smartt, who has no previous convictions, wanted to apologise to Ms Daley for the attack. 

“This has been a very sobering experience for Mr Bucknor-Smartt, and it will have a detrimental impact on his life,” he said. 

“It was out of character, there was no premeditation, and this has shocked him to the core.”

He added that Bucknor-Smartt mistakenly believed Ms Daley had deliberately kicked him when fell into him. 

Sentencing him to a 12-month community order with 150 hours of community service, magistrate Robert Westlake said: “This is a very unpleasant incident, very serious. 

“It was aggravated by the fact it was an elbow, which is a vicious weapon.”

He ordered Bucknor-Smartt to pay £900 compensation to the victim, as well as £170 in court costs and fees. 

Bucknor-Smartt, from Clapton, pleaded guilty to assault by beating. 


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