Ashley Bubb attacked ticket inspector John Bennett on a train
The life of a ticket collector who has worked on the railways for 40 years has been changed forever by a Herne Bay thug.
Kindly John Bennett, from Faversham, was doing what he loved most – helping passengers on the Victoria to Ramsgate line.
But then he came across Ashley Bubb, who was travelling without a ticket, and nothing has been the same since.
As he helped the 18-year-old buy a single ticket with a credit card, cannabis user Bubb became impatient.
He tried to snatch back the card but then, without any provocation, punched the railway official in the face – smashing his jaw and shattering his self-confidence.
As the judge who heard the case at Canterbury Crown Court said: "One punch… but a lifetime of consequences for your victim."
Bubb has now been sent to a young offenders' institution for a year after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The court heard Mr Bennett needed six teeth removing while surgeons worked on his fracture and has not been able to work full-time since the incident.
The ticket collector said he had worked on the railways for 40 years, but had never experienced anything similar to the vicious attack.
He was left in severe pain and, after having his teeth removed, was unable to chew his food – something he said later "will affect me for the rest of my life".
Mr Bennett said in a victim impact statement that after the incident he endured a bout of depression with "feelings of anger, guilt and self pity, all of which was out of character".
He said he felt he had been "hit for six" and his confidence in dealing with the public had been shattered.
Prosecutor Dominic Connolly told how the teenager had caught a London Victoria to Ramsgate train at 4.30pm in February.
"This was a shocking display of temper and completely unjustifiable..." - Recorder Janet Bignell
Mr Bennett approached him to ask for his ticket and Bubb said he did not have one, and asked if he could pay for a single fare from Faversham to Herne Bay with a credit card.
But as the collector was checking the signature, Bubb tried to snatch the card back and, when Mr Bennett refused to hand it over, struck out.
In what the judge called "a shocking display of temper", Bubb punched the ticket collector in the face – all caught on CCTV and played to the court.
He then ran away but gave himself up to police when he read about the attack in a local newspaper and later pleaded guilty.
Bubb was given bail to stay at a relative's home in Farnborough, Hampshire, but was then remanded in custody after he was arrested for shoplifting.
Lance Whitefoot, defending, said: "This was a serious assault on a man who was just performing his job.
"The defendant has no excuses for his behaviour. He was aggressive but he never meant to cause the disastrous injury.
"He knows he has anger problems and he is remorseful."
The barrister said that Bubb blamed his aggression on bullying at school and was eventually suspended.
The judge, Recorder Janet Bignell, told him: "You launched an entirely unprovoked attack on Mr Bennett and punched him in the face. This was done in full view of other passengers.
"This was a shocking display of temper and completely unjustifiable.
"His victim impact statement shows the harrowing and ongoing consequences of your actions.
"The psychological impact on a man who only wanted to help people and now his confidence in dealing with the public has been shattered."