School bus driver charge dropped

The Southland Times 05/03/2010

School bus driver James McCorkindale had no idea what lay ahead when police were waiting for him last July at the end of his run. They had been called by children on his bus who claimed the 70-year-old had assaulted a 12-year-old boy while the bus was parked outside a Gore high school. After seven months of dealing with the stress of an assault charge hanging over him and his wife dying, Mr McCorkindale yesterday walked from the Gore District Court with the charge dismissed.

The boy publicly apologised. “I’m sorry for what has happened. I don’t want him to go to jail.” His father said: “He’s not the best behaved child and has put Jim (Mr McCorkindale) into this position.” Explaining the details of the incident as though it were only a few days ago, Mr McCorkindale said he had approached the boy because he was pulling a girl’s hair. He had asked the boy twice to let her hair go but the boy’s only response was to swear at him. “I only did what I thought was necessary to get him to let her hair go.”

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