Sam Webb, Daily Mail (London), February 19, 2014
A teenager who attacked two strangers in just three days and blamed his behaviour on being a ‘young black male’ was spared jail today.
Shaqueil Samuels, 19, was one of three thugs who turned on night bus passenger Bronson Maisey, 39, after he told them to stop pressing the stop button.
The security officer was repeatedly punched and had to cling to a pole to prevent his assailants from dragging him onto the street.
Samuels, of Manor Park in East London, had jumped off the bus but got back on after seeing his friends Tesco employee Adebambo Karumwi, 18, and fitness instructor Roland Mubenga, 19, also from Manor Park, start the fight.
Mr Maisey lost a tooth and has had to have extensive dental work since the assault on the N25 night bus as it made its way towards Stratford, east London, in the early hours of December 30, 2012.
Just three days earlier Samuels repeatedly punched a passenger on a train going from Ilford to Liverpool Street just before it pulled in to Stratford, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
When he put his bag down next to 49-year-old Hamadi Nebili, the passenger looked up from his newspaper.
Samuels stared at Mr Nebili and said: ‘Are you looking? Are you gay?’
He then unloaded a barrage of punches at the terrified passenger, leaving him with serious head wounds which required stitches.
In a letter to the court Mr Nebili said he now feels anxious every time he leaves his home while Mr Maisey said he has lost his confidence when out and about.
Judge Sarah Paneth said: ‘These were two serious assaults on public transport without provocation of justification.
‘I’ve been told and reject the notion that your actions (Samuels) were due to what you believed to be others’ perception of yourself as a young black male–you cannot be defended on circumstances that are habitual.
‘What you all did was conform to the stereotype you so despise and brought shame to the black community and to your families.
‘You all come from stable and supportive families but you do not deserve medals for travelling on public transport since the offence with no problems–millions of people do that every day.
‘It was a group attack on a lone person and you are all responsible. Look at it this way, I am sure the three of you would not have chosen to attack a young man with a group of friends. Mr Maisey was an easy target.
‘I had adjourned this sentencing to see your remorse and to see whether you were really willing to pay compensation.
‘I accept this was out of character as there is no evidence of this behaviour before or after these incidents.
‘All three of you have before and since been entirely law-abiding and a credit to your community and families.
‘I note that you are prepared to back that up by paying compensation and you are all still in your teens. The effect long term for you and for society are extremely important factors to consider.’
Judge Paneth sentenced Samuels to serve two years in prison, Mubenga to 12 months and Karumwi to 15 months.
All three sentences were suspended for two years with a condition of unpaid work. Samuels must do 200 hours while the other two defendants have to do 100 hours each.
Samuels must also pay Mr Nebili and Mr Maisey £500 each in compensation while Mubenga and Karumwi were ordered to pay Mr Maisey £500 each.
Judge Paneth added: ‘I make it clear the only reason you are all not going into custody today is that these incidents are extremely out of character and isolated.’
The three defendants were all friends and used to go to the same gym together, the court was told.
Samuels, who cares for his arthritis-suffering mother, is now said to feel ashamed by how he reacted to the situations.