Jail next stop for man who assaulted two bus drivers

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A passenger who spat at two bus drivers during an argument outside Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert has been jailed.

Craig Rankin lost his temper and shouted and swore minutes after getting off at the stop.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard last Thursday that when he tried to get back on as it drove off, he forced the vehicle to come to a halt by standing in front of it.

Once back on board, the 23-year-old bully became abusive again and after being warned by the driver and a colleague who had left his bus to see what was going on, spat at them before getting off, kicking the door and disappearing inside the building.

Police were then called and they found Rankin and his brother in a disabled toilet.

As he was being led to their vehicle, he swore at them.

In court his lawyer claimed Rankin was “heavily intoxicated and had taken drugs” before the incident outside the hospital on October 1.

He said Rankin and his brother were on their way home to Stirling after buying drugs when there was an “altercation” between him and the driver as the bus reached Forth Valley Royal. He was asked to get off and while he was there went into the hospital to “use the facilities”.

The court was told Rankin, who has been in custody since his arrest, has issues with illegal substances and a hectic lifestyle as a result, but had detoxed while on remand and his parents were standing by him.

His lawyer urged a deferred sentence to allow Rankin, who also pled guilty to two charges of shoplifting from Iceland Foods in Denny last November, to allow a supervised community order he is already on to continue.

He said: “He is working with a drugs treatment nurse and on a methadone prescription and wants to engage with that.”

Sheriff John Mundy jailed Rankin, from Newpark Road, Stirling, for a total of 12 months on all charges.

He told him: “This merits a custodial sentence and that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you.”