Avtar Singh Dhillon behaved like a drunken lout and called a passenger on a Coventry bus an “n*****” and then threatened to “stick” a woman after pulling out a knife. Dhillon’s shocking behaviour came at just 8am in the morning as he travelled on a bus heading for the city centre, which was full of passengers including children on their way to school.
Police were called and the bus intercepted on its route and when Dhillon was arrested he racially abused and threatened the officers. Dhillon appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to two charges of possessing a bladed article and a racially-aggravated offence of threatening behaviour.
Dhillon, 48, of Beake Avenue, Coventry, who had also admitted possessing cannabis, was jailed for a total of two years. Prosecutor Ian Ball said the incident took place on the number 13 bus as it headed along Binley Road towards Coventry city centre at 8am on October 1 last year.
The bus was two-thirds full with passengers, who included children on their way to school and women with young children.
Dhillon, who was drunk, began abusing the passenger sitting next to him, using racist language towards him including calling him a n*****.
The man moved to another seat, and when other passengers complained about his behaviour, Dhillon was racially abusive towards them as well and produced a knife, threatening to “stick” one woman.
The police were alerted by one of the passengers, and when the bus was intercepted and Dhillon was arrested, he was racially abusive and threatening towards the officers.
Mr Ball added that Dhillon had previous convictions for offences including battery and being drunk and disorderly. Helen Marley, defending, said: “I cannot stress how out of character that day was for him.
“While he does have some previous convictions, it’s not a particularly extensive record, and he had never spent a period of time in custody before these offences, and has never been in trouble for knife crime before.”
She said Dhillon had been using the knife that day to prepare food, and had put it in his pocket and forgot about it, adding: “He does not accept getting the knife out and threatening a person with it.”
Jailing Dhillon, Judge Cooke told him what happened as “a disgraceful and disgusting episode”, saying: “You were on a relatively busy bus which was on the route schoolchildren were taking to school, and with other passengers including mothers with children, and where there was a racial mix of citizens as is normal in our cities and towns.
“What first drew everyone’s attention was you berating a black gentleman seated next to you. He moved away from you, and you sat there becoming agitated, and you were heard directing racial abuse, including calling that gentleman a n*****.
“A mother on the bus covered her child’s ears and complained to the driver. She also complained to you, and you racially abused her, calling her a ‘fat white b****’.
“Another passenger saw you threatening a lady on the bus to ‘stick’ her. A schoolgirl who was upset by your racial abuse of that gentleman told you to shut up. Good on her, I say. Good for her.