Flashback: A lonely survivor, a shocking bus attack and unfounded RSPCA allegations

The 150 bus route was host to a shocking attack 40 years ago this week. Photo: TFL

The 150 bus route was host to a shocking attack 40 years ago this week. Photo: TFL - Credit: Archant

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

1957: A man who stood only three feet tall because both his legs were cut off above the knee in a railway accident two years ago came to the Recorder for help.

With a wife in hospital and no children, the man, who wished to remain anonymous, was suffering from one of life’s most soul-destroying maladies - loneliness.

Mr Smith wrote to the Recorder in an attempt to find an association called Friends of Lutetia.

Before his accident, he attended meetings of the group regularly to learn conversational French.

The group, which had about 20 members, used to meet regularly at Toynbee Hall in London’s East End.

1977: The Redbridge community was left shocked when a 50-year-old conductor was brutally attacked on a crowded bus.

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Om Phakey, a father-of-five, was attempting to chase after a youngster who had punched and kicked him to the floor before stealing £2 from his hand, but was unable to catch him.

Detectives hunting the suspect described the attack as “extremely violent”.

One said: “Nobody seems to have gone to help. Two women were left virtually hysterical after witnessing the attack.”

The 150 bus had been travelling along Cranbrook Road and had just passed Vacendish Avenue when the attacker struck.

After the attack, Mr Phakey collapsed and was rushed to King George Hospital in Goodmayes, where his condition was described as stable.

1997: An animal welfare activist whose home was raided by the RSPCA amid allegations of animal neglect and fraud spoke out about her struggle for justice.

Janet Ives had hit the headlines in January 1997 when volunteers at her animal sanctuary in Gants Hill claimed she had fled to Australia leaving them with huge debts and a number of neglected animals.

But after seven months the Charities Commission and the Redbridge branch of the RSPCA confirmed they were no longer investigating Mrs Ives as they had found no evidence of either fraud or actual neglect.

Mrs Ives insisted she had been visiting her sick father-in-law in Australia.