A drunkard brawled on a bus in what a judge branded a morning of ‘mayhem on the motorcoach’.

Colin Wilton, 35, got onto the S6 bus at Longcot on January 11 with three others. Despite it being only 9.30am, all four appeared to be drunk.

Trouble with a card payment meant one member of the strung-out quartet paid the fare for all four using a £20 note, Oxford Crown Court heard.

That seemed to have been the cause of difficulties further down the road, with the group arguing about the fare debt as they sat on the top deck.

It was ‘very clear’, the judge said, that the group’s bad language and bad behaviour was a cause of concern for other passengers on the bus.

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Attempts were made to get them to leave the vehicle in Faringdon. Now on the lower deck of the double-decker bus, a ‘brawl’ erupted after a young college student demanded the louts leave so the already-delayed bus could get on its way.

Wilton was said to have lunged towards the student and taken up a fighting stance. In fear, he aimed a pre-emptive kick towards his opponent before others joined in the shouting.

Eventually, the group were removed from the bus, with judge Recorder John Bate-Williams in particular commending the efforts of driver Helen West and the employee of a nearby tyre garage Grant Godowski who calmly got the group to leave.

CCTV from the vehicle showed Wilton – then off the bus and standing on the pavement at the junction of Marlborough Street and Station Road - removing what appeared to be a multi-tool style knife from his pocket and waving it at the young man.

Sentencing, Recorder Bate-Williams said: “This offence, illustrated graphically in the on board CCTV footage, involves what can best be described as mayhem on the motorcoach.”

Wilton, who appeared in court via video link from HMP Bullingdon, was originally charged with possession of a bladed article, but admitted an alternative offence of affray.

In mitigation, Dana Bilan said her client had struggled with an addiction to class A drugs crack cocaine and heroin for more than two decades. He started taking class As at the age of 13.

Since his remand into custody, he had obtained a prescription to drug substitute methadone.

It was that which convinced the judge to suspend the nine month prison sentence for two years, adding a 12 month drug rehabilitation requirement and the probation service’s thinking skills programme.

But Recorder Bate-Williams said it was ‘not without significant hesitation’ that he was suspending the sentence. He told Wilton that his success depended on ‘whether you are really ready to take on a fight with addiction’.