Disabled Brixton woman ‘humiliated’ as school kids ‘intimidate and harass’ her on London bus

By Staff

A disabled woman said she felt “humiliated” and “intimidated” after allegedly being harassed on a bus in Brixton by schoolchildren. Yvonne Griffiths, 56, said she was travelling home from a hospital appointment on the P5 bus at about 5pm on March 14 when a group of schoolchildren started recording her and posting videos of her on social media.

Yvonne, who walks with a stick, said she got on the bus at Coldharbour Lane and when she got off near her home she was told that the schoolchildren had been filming her with their phones by another passenger. She said she confronted them which ended in them being kicked off the bus. She claims after this they surrounded her and ‘intimidated’ her.

Yvonne said: “I felt really uncomfortable and I felt intimidated, to be honest, but I had to hold my own. I could not let those children see how much they were affecting me.”

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The group was made up of five girls and two boys about 14 or 15 years old, Yvonne said. She has contacted the police about the alleged incident and said they are due to meet her on Monday (March 25) and determine whether a crime has been committed.

Yvonne, a retired NHS worker, said she has lumbar stenosis which means she has no feeling in her left leg and has knee problems so is unable to work due to her condition. She said: “I hadn’t been out for a while so for me to go out was a massive effort for me,” adding that her condition makes her very anxious to leave the house.

As she sat on the bus in the priority seating by the double exit doors, Yvonne said one of the girls from the group sat opposite her and was smiling at her friends who stood behind Yvonne near the double doors. As she left the bus, she said another passenger told her she was being recorded. She re-entered the bus to confront the children.

She said: “These girls and the boys all rushed to the back and I said to them ‘Whoever has been filming me, delete it now’. I didn’t raise my voice too much, I’ll be honest I was just upset.”

The children reportedly denied doing it repeatedly until other passengers chimed in to confirm they had seen them recording Yvonne. Finally, the bus driver said them to ‘get off the bus’ according to Yvonne, and because it was her stop she was left on the side of the road with them.

Yvonne said: “The girls literally surrounded me and the boys were cracking jokes – they had no empathy, nothing. No remorse and they were all denying it which is hilarious.”

She claims one of the boys who Yvonne described to be cocky said to her: “You think you’re bad don’t you?” And Yvonne said she stood her ground until another woman told her it was not worth arguing. Yvonne then went home and “burst out crying”.

She said: “I didn’t deserve that and it just really, really upset me. It just set me back from trying to make the effort to go out to do my appointments, to build up my confidence and try not to be anxious to have these children have such an effect on me.”

Yvonne is hoping the police can help her identify the school these children went to, to try to address the incident. She gave some advice to others who might experience similar alleged harassment. She said: “If you’ve noticed that they’re videoing you, I’d tell the bus driver because he’s got it on record as well and they can be identified. Either that or call the police or something to protect yourself.”

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