A CRACK cocaine user who threatened a bus driver had a "close shave" when he was spared being locked up.

The driver of a 358 bus, 66-year-old Frederick Porter, suffered a heart attack shortly after being intimidated by Jake Tolley during a journey to Clock House station in Beckenham.

Mr Porter has not returned to work since the incident on April 26 last year.

Bromley Magistrates' Court heard 19-year-old Tolley had been drinking and was abusive to Mr Porter.

Tolley tried to pull open the driver's cab door and grab money from the cash box.

He also pushed passenger Stuart Inman to try to intimidate him.

Prosecutor Terry Curtis told the court at one point Tolley was heard to say he wanted to cut the driver's neck open.

Sentencing Tolley, chairman of the bench Jim Connor told him: "The court takes a very serious view.

"It is clear you were under the influence of alcohol at the time of these offences."

He added: "You were seen and heard to be really abusive to the bus driver.

"The consequences caused the driver fear and later he suffered a heart attack.

"Further to this, you were willing to assault a passenger by pushing him."

Mr Connor said: "All members of the public have a right to travel without fear on public transport.

"Additionally, members of staff have a right to work without being harassed or put in fear for their safety.

"You can consider yourself very fortunate you will not be going immediately to custody. You have had a close shave."

Tolley, of Ridsdale Road, Anerley, pleaded guilty to common assault and using threatening words and behaviour.

Shahid Mumtaz, mitigating, told the court Tolley had a drink problem and had started to use crack cocaine in the year before the incident.

Mr Mumtaz said: "Because of his intoxicated state he was getting himself in more and more trouble and he appreciates people he calls friends aren't the best influences.

"He appreciates and regrets in his sober state the problems he caused that day."

Mr Mumtaz said Tolley had a part-time job in a supermarket and had been attending a drug and alcohol treatment program voluntarily.

Tolley was sentenced to 10 weeks in a young offenders' institution on each of the charges, to run concurrently.

These were suspended for 18 months.

He was also given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to complete a 12-month alcohol treatment program.

Tolley must also pay £100 compensation to both of his victims and £100 costs.