A BUS passenger allegedly attacked a man in the centre of Teignmouth after seeing him in a confrontation with a group of youths.

John Phillips was filmed on the bus’s CCTV getting off the bus as it stopped outside W H Smith in Regent Street so he could intervene in an incident in which a nearby resident was accusing the boys of anti-social behaviour.

The footage showed a fight between Phillips and the man who suffered a serious injury which has effectively cost him the sight in his right eye. He also had bite marks to his face and shoulder. 

Phillips, who was on his way from Newton Abbot to Dawlish to go fishing, says he was acting in self defence and to protect the youths. 

The incident arose because a man and his partner who lived near the town centre were at home when there was a loud bang on their door and they opened it to see a group of youths walking away. 

The resident followed them down the street and was using his phone to try to film them when two of them objected. Phillips, who was on the top deck of the bus, saw what was happening and left the bus to intervene.

Phillips, aged 44, of Apple Tree Close, Chudleigh Knighton, denies assault causing grievous bodily harm. 

Mr Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, told a jury at Exeter Crown Court that the events unfolded at around 4.45 pm on April 5, 2021, when the teenagers were being followed down Bank Street by the complainant and his partner. 

He said: 'The defendant was sitting on the top deck of a bus and rushed off and approached the man in a way we say was undoubtedly aggressive, pointing at him and very much gesturing as if he was going to attack him.

'Phillips asked him why he was taking photos of the youths and the complainant told him they had been banging on his door. The defendant asked him if he wanted to fight with someone older and there was a confrontation.

'The prosecution say Phillips’s demeanour and bad language made it clear he was plainly being aggressive. The subsequent fight was caught on CCTV from the Stagecoach bus.'

Mr Ashworth said the complainant took off his glasses and was then punched very hard in the jaw by Phillips, who went on to get the better of him and continue to punch him after he fell to the ground.

He suffered bites to his face and shoulder and a ruptured right eye, which now has very limited vision. He has needed an operation to improve the sight in his left eye, which had previously had partial blindness.

Phillips was interviewed twice and said he got off the bus to protect the youths and then acted in self defence because he believed he was about to be attacked.

The trial continues