Man could face jail over Ladysmith Black Mambazo bus drama

PUBLISHED: 18:39 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:10 11 May 2010

Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed in Cambridge last Thursday

Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed in Cambridge last Thursday

A MAN who attempted to hijack the tour bus of band Ladysmith Black Mambazo in a drunken prank could face jail. Joseph Horgan, of Thackeray Close, Royston, had been out drinking to celebrate the birth of a friend s baby when he boarded the bus and attemp

A MAN who attempted to hijack the tour bus of band Ladysmith Black Mambazo in a "drunken prank" could face jail.

Joseph Horgan, of Thackeray Close, Royston, had been out drinking to celebrate the birth of a friend's baby when he boarded the bus and attempted to drive it away.

At Cambridge Magistrate's Court earlier today (Friday), the 26-year old pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the incident. The hearing was adjourned to allow pre-sentence reports to be gathered, and magistrates warned call centre manager Horgan that they "could not rule out custody at this time."

The incident took place on October 15, at around 3.30am, while the bus was parked outside the Cambridge Corn Exchange, where the African band were due to perform a concert that evening.

Paul Brown, prosecuting, said the bands sleeping crew were woken by the noise of the bus being started. Driver Phil O'Neil went into the cab, and found Horgan at the controls. He had started the engine and released the hand brake.

The bus had travelled 30 yard by the time Mr O'Neil managed to apply the emergency brake. He attempted to catch Horgan, who fled the bus, but was later apprehended by police, who had watched the incident unfold on closed circuit television cameras.

Clive Broe, defending, said his client would not have attempted the stunt if sober.

He said: "This was a drunken prank that got out of hand. Alcohol affected his [Horgan's] judgement, and he got into the vehicle and started pressing all the buttons."

The incident also saw an electric cable which was supplying the bus ripped from the wall and damaged.

Horgan pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without the owner's consent, driving not in accordance with the terms of a licence, causing criminal damage, using a vehicle without insurance, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

He will be sentenced on November 13, after reports have been compiled on his ability to carry out unpaid work, and on measures to curb his alcohol consumption.


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