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Bus driver Hans 'Peter' Rehberg, from Sittingbourne says he has lost his job after stopping attack on woman

A pensioner says he has lost his job as a bus driver on the school run because he saved a woman from being attacked by a youth.

Hans ‘Peter’ Rehberg, 75, from Iwade admits he threw the teenager off his 16-seater minibus but says police have cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Yet Kent County Council refuses to let him carry on with his job and has axed his contract.

Hans Rehberg says he was trying to help the woman
Hans Rehberg says he was trying to help the woman

He wants the authority to reinstate him or pay £160,000 for lost income.

Mr Rehberg said: “I have appealed to KCC but it won’t give me any reason for ending my contract and won’t pay any compensation.

“I asked MP Gordon Henderson to intervene but he says he can’t help. I have approached solicitors to take on my case for no-win-no-fee but none will. I don’t know what else to do.”

For more than 17 years, German-born Mr Rehberg had been a freelance bus driver taking children from Faversham to Meadowfields Special School in Sittingbourne.

On the morning of May 26 he had just arrived at the school when he heard one of his women helpers shouting for help.

He said: “I looked round and saw her on the floor with a boy on top of her trying to stab her with a one-foot long wooden pencil.

"What else could I do? Was I supposed to sit there and do nothing?" - Hans Rehberg

“I grabbed him and pulled him off her and pushed him out of the doors. What else could I do? Was I supposed to sit there and do nothing?”

Mr Rehberg said he called the boy back to collect his school bag and asked if there was anything he wanted to say.

He said: “The boy said ‘Sorry Peter’ but I told him he needed to apologise to the woman. He refused. So I told the school I did not want the boy on my bus again. I took the woman, who worked as a chaperone on the route, home.

“She was very shocked and has now given up the job. This was not the first time one of my chaperones had been attacked by a pupil but it was the worst.”

Mr Rehberg, of School Lane, was suspended that day and three weeks later was interviewed by police who said there was no case to answer.

But when he asked to return to work he was told he was no longer needed. His contract was cancelled on June 6.

He said: “KCC didn’t give me any reason and refused to meet me face-to-face to explain why.” The route has now been given to rival operator Chalkwell.

Mr Rehberg, who runs PW Travel, also known as Peter’s Orchid Cards with his wife Wendy, said: “We had more than three years left to run on our five-year contact. We have been treated like dirt.”

He is now preparing to take his case to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, saying: “I have lived in Britain for 33 years and with a British passport. I know my rights. It is wrong to treat people like this.”

Hans Rehberg claims his school run contract with KCC has been unfairly cancelled
Hans Rehberg claims his school run contract with KCC has been unfairly cancelled

Since losing his contract he has had to get rid to both of his new, rented buses although he still retains an older model.

A KCC spokesman said: “Concerns were raised for students by parents and the school regarding Mr Rehberg’s conduct and an investigation was undertaken by police and our safeguarding team.

“The investigation concluded that it would not be appropriate for Mr Rehberg to continue working with our clients.

“Failure to safeguard our clients could have serious implications and in this case it was considered a breach of his contractual agreement.

“Whilst we sympathise with Mr Rehberg, we have taken the appropriate action based on the information gathered during the investigation.

“We would not offer any compensation in this case as the contract states where serious breaches occur, no compensation will be awarded where an operator has breached their contract.”

MP Gordon Henderson said: “My team tried to help Mr Rehberg to get to the bottom of the problem and shared the reasons with him.

“There is nothing much else we can do in the circumstances.”

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