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Man denies slapping schoolgirl on bus

A schoolgirl yesterday described being attacked by a St George’s man while riding home from school in a crowded bus.

The 15-year-old victim, who cannot be named, said George Wilson, 60, grabbed her by her school tie and repeatedly slapped her after shoving her friend out of her seat.

Mr Wilson has denied the allegations, saying the alleged victims made up the story. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault, but the court heard that one of the complainants has since withdrawn her complaint.

Taking the stand at Magistrates’ Court yesterday, the remaining complainant said that on January 9 she and two friends were taking the bus home from school. While she and one friend sat in the back row, the third friend took a seat in the second-to-last row next to Mr Wilson.

Near St Theresa’s Church, she said her friend complained that Mr Wilson was “bumping” her and asked him to stop.

She told the court that the defendant responded: “I’m not a nice person.”

She alleged that Mr Wilson then pushed her friend out of her chair with force. She asked her friend if she was alright, but Mr Wilson turned around and gripped her by her tie.

“Because I had a lollipop in my hand, my finger bent back when the gripped my tie,” she said. “He slapped me on my face. Both sides, right and left.”

She said the incident ended when another rider stood up and shouted at Mr Wilson. The complainant said that the bus driver stopped the vehicle and had Mr Wilson step off the bus. Police then arrived and arrested the defendant.

The schoolgirl said she was later taken to receive medical treatment and was told she had suffered a sprain to her right ring finger.

Cross-examining the complainant, Mr Wilson suggested that the schoolgirl had made up the story, a claim she refuted.

He asked the defendant if, instead of pushing her friend, he actually elbowed her by mistake while pulling his cell phone from his pocket.

She responded: “You bumped her a couple of times. An accident only happens once.”

While he said he apologised for the contact, the complainant said that he did not. He also denied being forced off the bus by the driver, saying police had arrested him while he was still in the bus.

The court also heard from Detective Constable Llewellyn Edwards, who told the court he responded to the disturbance at around 5.25pm.

He said that after speaking to the bus operator, he identified himself to passengers and asked for anyone involved with an incident to step forward.

At that time he said Mr Wilson stood up, and the officer escorted him out of the bus.

The matter will continue next week.

George Wilson

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Published June 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 15, 2013 at 1:22 am)

Man denies slapping schoolgirl on bus

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