Bus driver grandmother Diana Dooner tells of attack by crowbar thugs in Littlebourne
Regents Coaches driver
Diana Dooner was pursued by yobs after she asked them to get off
her bus for abusing other passengers
by Jamie Bullen
A bus-driving grandmother has told how mindless yobs tried to
ram her off the road and smashed her window with a crowbar after
she ordered them to get off.
Diana Dooner said the attackers jumped in a BMW and tailed her
as she drove the 14a night route between Canterbury and
They eventually forced her to pull into a layby, before one got
out and smashed the driver's window with the metal bar.
Diana, 52, of Studd Hill, Herne Bay, said she has been a driver
on the route for more than three years - but almost quit this week
after the attack.
Recalling the ordeal, she said she had told the men to get off
the bus after they started abusing other passengers.
They initially refused, but eventually jumped off after Diana
parked outside the Evenhill pub in Littlebourne and dialled 999.
"You're an old witch and we'll make you crash this bus tonight…” – what thugs shouted to Diana Dooner
As they left, one fired the parting threat: "You're an old witch
and we'll make you crash this bus tonight!"
Minutes after restarting her journey, Diana saw the BMW speeding
behind her. It made several attempts to overtake before slamming on
its brakes to force her to crash.
She pulled into a layby on the A257 and again called police, but
before she had put the phone down her window was smashed with the
Diana said: "I was on the phone to the police at the time
so they heard everything.
"I gave them the registration number of the BMW and then I said
'oh my God they are smashing my windows in!'
"I was on my own and they must have realised because they were
driving fast, overtaking me then braking hard trying to make me
"This is the worst attack that any of our drivers have ever
sustained. He was just totally out of control."
Officers went to the scene, but the attackers had fled. Diana
was then escorted back to the Regents Coaches depot in
She said drivers for the company regularly experience trouble,
with many having snowballs, apples and even rocks thrown at
She said: "We have had rocks and bricks bombarded at us and lit
newspapers thrown into the emergency exit doors of the bus. I have
even had a farmer's son shoot at my tyres with a shotgun in
wants to see action taken to prevent further attacks and has
written to MP Roger Gale.
She said: "Normally it is a fantastic evening. I'm very well
known with the passengers, on first-name terms with most of them.
It is a friendly environment.
"I've been asked not to leave because I know them; in fact I'm
teaching two of the gang how to drive, but they won’t give the
names of the people involved.
"They are just bullies and they are trying to intimidate me, but
it won't work."
DI Mark Weller, from Kent Police, said community
support officers boarded buses over the weekend to reassure both
drivers and passengers in the wake of the incident.
He said: "Such intimidating, anti-social behaviour is
unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
"Kent Police is following a number of leads to identify those
responsible for these incidents and will use all powers available
to bring them to justice.
"Our officers have been in touch with the driver and are keeping
her updated with the investigation."
Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to phone police
on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
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