Two men who launched a terrifying assault on a packed bus in Hounslow during the early hours of New Year's Day last year have been jailed for 16 months each.

Abdi Ali and Mehari Abraham attacked a fellow passenger on board the H37 bus from Richmond to Heath Road, Hounslow, on January 1, 2013, punching and kicking him after he asked them to stop causing a disturbance.

When a second passenger attempted to intervene, the 35-year-old from Surrey was punched in the face by Abraham.

Both men were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday (May 6) after Ali, 26, of St John's Road, Isleworth, had admitted affray, and Abraham, 24, of Swan Road, Feltham, had admitted affray and causing actual bodily harm.

Mehari Abraham, who was jailed for 16 months after admitting to an attack on the H37 bus in Hounslow
 

Speaking after the sentencing, Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, of the Met Police's Safer Transport Command, said: "These offenders violently attacked two passengers travelling home after enjoying a night out on New Year's Eve.

"As a result of our investigation, they have been jailed for a significant amount of time. Committing crime on London's bus network will not be tolerated and we will bring those who are responsible to justice."

Ali and Abraham boarded the bus at about 2am and began banging on the window so loudly the driver brought the bus to a halt.

When a fellow passenger asked them to stop, they took exception and began attacking him, before Abraham landing a blow on another man who had tried to step in to stop the assault. The pair continued to assail the first man before they disembarked at St John's Road, Isleworth.

When police attended the scene, the initial victim had already left, and has never been traced despite appeals. The second victim was treated at hospital the following day for facial injuries.

Officers from the Transport for London-funded Safer Transport Command identified the attackers using CCTV footage from the bus and arrested Ali on April 17 and Abraham on April 30.

Steve Burton, TfL's director of enforcement and on-street operations, said: "We care about every journey our passengers make, and preventing crime on our transport network is a priority for the mayor and TfL.

"Violent incidents like this are very rare on London's buses, but we are not complacent and will continue to work hard with our policing partners to ensure our transport system remains a safe, secure, and low crime environment."