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September 7, 2011

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Man who savagely beat bus driver gets light term

THE man who severely beat up a female bus driver in May was sentenced to prison for 3 1/2 years yesterday.

The 32-year-old defendant, Shen Bo, beat the driver, Zhou Weiqin, on May 13 when the bus did not stop where he was planning to go, causing severe injuries to the victim, the Baoshan District People's Court said. But Shen got a lenient sentence as he's suffering from depression and thus bears limited criminal responsibility, said the court.

Shen boarded the No. 116 bus to go to the Zhangjiabang area in Baoshan District, not knowing it was an express line of the route and would not stop at Zhangjiabang. He became infuriated when the bus drove past his destination and slapped Zhou while she was driving the bus at 46 kilometers per hour. Zhou pulled the bus to a stop at the Wusong Bridge to ensure the safety of the passengers, but Shen did not stop. He beat her and pushed her off the bus and fled the scene.

He was nabbed by police on May 26 in a supermarket in Baoshan, the court heard.

Shen pleaded guilty in court yesterday but he appeared unstable, sometimes unable to clearly answer judges' questions that had to be repeated.

"I am deeply sorry for what I have done," Shen said.

He added that "I hope that after I serve the jail term I can better treat my parents."

He also asked for a supply of medicine in jail to treat his depression.

Shen was believed to be more easily agitated than usual when he attacked the driver, as he had just taken his antidepressant a few hours earlier.

The driver, who was diagnosed with fractures and bruises to her head, neck, spine and chest, has almost recovered and appeared in court yesterday and announced she would not sue Shen.

"I would give up the lawsuit against Shen and will not ask for any compensation," said the driver, who made the decision due to Shen's mental illness and his family's very limited financial means.

The attack immediately became part of a public controversy, as the driver and others were shocked by the indifference of her passengers. A 73-year-old man tried to dissuade the attacker but backed off when he was threatened. Everyone else just watched and did nothing.


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