Bus driver attacker sentenced for series of drunk events

BUS driver Wim Baas sat quietly at the back of a court room, his right arm in a sling, as the man who bashed him at a Maroochydore bus stop was sentenced yesterday.

Mr Baas, 66, has just had his second round of surgery on hand injuries suffered when a drunken Steven Leonard Cartledge repeatedly attacked him on January 30.

Cartledge fronted Maroochydore Magistrates Court over offences committed while he was intoxicated.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jamie Baker said Cartledge boarded the Sunbus bus at Nambour without paying and had been noisy and drawn attention to himself on the trip to Maroochydore.

The passengers and driver exited the bus at Horton Pde about 3.55pm.

Mr Baas returned to see Cartledge standing inside his bus, having entered through an open rear door.

Cartledge was told to exit the bus but he ignored Mr Baas, instead yelling at him.

He then followed the driver inside the bus to the front, where he ripped the bus driver's sunglasses off his face and threw them outside before he started wildly swinging his arms.

Mr Baas put his hands up to protect his face.

He deflected the strikes and then got Cartledge's arm behind his back and pushed him off the bus as fellow drivers came to his aid.

Mr Baas underwent exploratory surgery on his hand in July and again had surgery this month to remove bone fragments and repair tendons.

Cartledge was also sentenced for a series of drunken events in Sunshine Beach on the afternoon of February 18.

They included threatening an 11-year-old girl with a stick before chasing her and her younger sister, abusing a Webya St resident, pulling his pants down to expose his underwear, and screaming a profanity while walking along Ben Lexcen Dr.

Officers found Cartledge lying on Pacific Ave, obstructing queuing drivers.

Defence solicitor Nathan Turner said his client had a problem with alcohol.

Mr Turner said Cartledge had a good job as a painter and had initiated treatment for alcohol addiction.

Magistrate Wilkinson described Cartledge's behaviour as "unacceptable" before sentencing him to six months' prison with immediate parole as well as a six-month suspended sentence.

Cartledge was also placed on an 18-month probation order, fined $1500, ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay $60 compensation for Mr Baas's broken sunglasses.

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