One of our own Kelly Jago won first the praise of a Crown Court judge and now a commendation from the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for intervening when two men stole a customer's purse.
Kelly's actions when her bus was on Nottingham's Friar Lane helped convict one of the thieves who changed his not guilty plea to guilty when he heard Kelly was ready to be a witness for the prosecution.
The incident back in March 2018 began when the two men staged a distraction around an older woman who was trying to board Kelly’s indigo bus. When Kelly saw the woman being pushed around, she intervened to shield her.
Kelly made the men get off her bus but as she was driving away the woman discovered her purse was missing. Kelly drove to a place of safety and called the Police, reassuring her customer until help arrived.
Kelly had got a good look at the two men and was called as a witness to the Crown Court trial. But on the first day one of the men changes his plea to guilty after being informed that Kelly had arrived as a witness and her evidence was damning.
Both men were sentenced to around four years in prison and the judge praised Kelly’s actions and her public spirit. The Crown Courts requested the High Sheriff reward Kelly with £300 and on 8 March she received certificates from the High Sheriff and Crown Courts.
Kelly, 38, said: “The two guys were circling the older lady and she was saying they were pushing her. None of us could see what they were actually up to but after I got them off the bus and drove away the woman said they had stolen her purse.
“I felt sick for her, stopped and gave her a hug. I later had to pick two men out of a video line-up. One of them admitted it but the other one didn’t until two minutes before I was due to give evidence in court.
“I was nervous before going in the witness box but when I was told I didn’t have to said ‘but I want to’. I wanted to look him in the eye and see justice done. I had seen the little old lady and thought of my nana.
Kelly started driving buses after joining trentbarton in 2015. The mum first drive i4, then indigo and is now on the keyworth: “It was something completely different to try and I’ve never looked back.”
The £300 reward is going towards the family’s 2019 holiday, said Kelly: I was pleased to get a commendation, but I wasn’t expecting anything else. When that came through, I was like ‘wow’.”