- 1 update
A man who spat at a bus ticket inspector in the Witton area of Birmingham has been caught and fined £255 after his DNA was traced using an on-board ‘spit kit’.
Joseph Sydenham, 40, spat at a National Express West Midlands official checking tickets on the number 11 service in Witton’s Brookvale Road in May.
The 40-year-old broke free from the conductor and fled the bus before being arrested weeks later by police at a Birmingham hotel after forensic analysis of saliva taken from the inspector’s jacket showed Sydenham, beyond reasonable doubt, was the offender.
West Midlands Police confirmed that odds that the saliva had not originated from the Sydenham’s mouth were at around a billion to one.
The culprit claimed to suffer from a speech disorder that meant he spat when he talked – but police dismissed the ‘excuse’ and charged him with common assault.
Last Tuesday he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court where he admitted the offence and was ordered to pay a total of £255 in costs, fines and compensation.
The spit kits, which feature swabs, gloves and sealed bags, allow staff to take saliva samples and protect them from contamination before being sent for forensic analysis. The kits are carried by around 3,500 bus drivers and ticket inspectors across the West Midlands.