Commuters read their papers and ignored a schoolgirl as she was assaulted by a drunken woman, her family have claimed.That’s hardly a surprise, you’d have thought…
May Rubery, 15, was physically and verbally assaulted for almost 10 minutes on a train journey in Lancashire.And of course, no-one intervened.
She was on a packed rush-hour train from Blackburn to Clitheroe when she was confronted by Yvonne Maynard, 51.
Maynard pulled the girl's hair, dragged her nails down her back and shouted abuse for eight minutes.
But May's stepfather Paul Barlow says commuters in the same carriage did nothing to stop the attack or come to her aid.Perhaps they thought the aggressor would turn on them, or would accuse them of an offence, or perhaps they even thought the girl had done something to deserve that treatment.
'There are no Good Samaritans left,' he said. 'You would think people would stand up and say something to her, at least take her attention away from the child.'
And let's not forget that they've been conditioned to believe that resolving this sort of issue is someone else's job, someone with the right training and equipment.
The schoolgirl said: 'I was on the train and my friend made me laugh. Next thing she was screaming "Are you laughing at me?"Of course, nothing happens to her – she’s got ‘problems with alcohol’ (i.e. she can’t stop pouring it down her throat).
'I didn't know what she was going to do. I got really scared. She was shouting and saying very strange things then she started calling me names.
'She grabbed me by the arms. People were looking at her and at me at first and then some people started to hide behind their newspapers.
Maynard, from Salford, pleaded guilty to assault at Blackburn Magistrates' Court following the incident on September 1.Whuich the taxpayer will pay, of course. She’s almost certainly unemployed.
She was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, made subject to community supervision for 12 months and ordered to pay May £100 compensation.
Annette Shaw, defending, said Maynard had an alcohol problem and was quite often the subject of ridicule, abuse and violent behaviour by youths on public transport.Oh, well, that’s all right then. Pre-emptive strikes on innocent targets are practically de rigueur these days…
She said: 'She perceived these young people were going to be cruel to her and she reacted aggressively.'