A DAZED off-duty PCSO stumbled into the path of a bus after being punched in the face by a passing pedestrian, a court heard.
Victim Sarah Kearney was only saved from being hit by the vehicle in South Harrow because the driver managed to perform an emergency stop, Hendon Magistrates’ Court was told.
On Monday, her attacker, Gordon Dickson, 60, of Cowen Avenue, South Harrow, admitted assault by beating on January 14.
Prosecutor, Peter Lock told the court that Ms Kearney, who is a member of Acton Central Safer Neighbourhood Team in Ealing, was on her way to work but was not in uniform.
He said: “It was about 9.15 in the morning and she was walking along the pavement down Northolt Road, going to South Harrow Tube station, and Mr Dickson was walking along the same pavement towards her, and as the two passed each other, it’s said Mr Dickson shouted at her for no reason at all.
“He then punched her in the mouth. The punch caused her to stumble into the road into the path of a route 395 bus. The bus narrowly avoided colliding with her, having done an emergency stop.
“He then walked away from the scene towards his home address and Ms Kearney had some bleeding to her mouth. Everything was captured on CCTV.”
Geeta Mohan, defending, said Dickson had suffered paranoid schizophrenia since the 1970s and was under the care of the Northwick Park Mental Health Unit at Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, but would soon be released.
Ms Mohan said the 60-year-old was under the impression there was a right and a wrong side of the pavement for pedestrians and that he believed Ms Kearney was walking on the wrong side before lambasting her and lashing out.
“The incident wasn’t premeditated and there’s nothing to suggest this would happen again,” she said. "It’s a one-off and was out of character.”
She said Dickson, who admitted assault, was very remorseful and asked for leniency from the magistrates.
Sentencing Dickson, the chairman of the bench said it must have been ‘quite traumatic’ for the woman to be pushed into the path of a bus, but that there was lower culpability on account of Dickson’s mental instability.
Dickson was fined £50 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and to pay Ms Kearney £50 compensation.