A BUS driver left a teenager bleeding heavily after hitting him with a brick, a jury has been told.

Sabbir Patel, 53, does not deny landing the single blow to his victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, but claims he was acting in self-defence.

Preston Crown Court heard how earlier in the day the teenage boy had kicked Patel, who works for Transdev in Blackburn, in the leg and swore at him.

But the incident came to a head later when the boy rammed Patel with a bicycle. It is at that point that the defendant picked up the brick and struck the victim with what the prosecution described as ‘unreasonable force’.

Following the attack the police were called and PC Martin Lafranceschina described how the complainant, who is not giving evidence in the trial, was bleeding from a cut to his forehead.

When questioned at the scene Patel, of Oozebooth Terrace, Blackburn, accepted being responsible for causing the injury.

During an interview at Greenbank Police Station he told officers that he picked up the brick and hit the teenager with it from a standing position because he feared for his safety.

However while giving evidence in court Patel said when he was rammed with the bike he fell.

He said his right hand landed on an object and without knowing what it was he picked it up and reached out with it in self-defence.

Patel, who is deaf in one ear, said it was then that the teenager’s head collided with the brick as he lunged towards him.

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During cross-examination prosecutor Colette Renton asked Patel why he had given differing accounts.

He said: “When I was interviewed by police I was not in a fit state of mind. I had not been locked up or questioned by police before. Because of my hearing difficulties I was not fit to be interviewed.”

When asked again why the accounts had changed from a ‘pre-emptive strike’ to a ‘reactive blow’, Patel said: “It was instinctive. I just picked it up.”

He added: “I didn’t do it on purpose. I just picked an object up. I didn’t know it was a brick. I only knew that after the collision.” Patel denies a single count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.