Stéphane Place // Photo credits: Magali Cohen / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 10:14 am, September 15, 2023

This Friday morning opens the trial of three 25-year-old defendants tried before the Assize Court of Pau. Two of the defendants had beaten and left Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver in Bayonne, for death on July 5, 2020.

On July 5, 2020, Philippe Monguillot, 59, married and father of three adult daughters, was hit by two passengers on the bus he was driving, after headbutting one of them. Left brain dead next to his vehicle, he had succumbed after five days of coma in hospital. His two alleged attackers appear from Friday before the Assize Court of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The two main defendants, aged 25, already convicted in the past for other offences, are on trial for "intentional violence resulting in death without intent".

>> LISTEN - "We're going to kill you": for Véronique Monguillot, widow of the bus driver killed in Bayonne in 2020, it was a murder

"We have a territory that is evolving"

Three years after the tragedy, Laurent, a bus driver in Bayonne, remains traumatized by the death of his colleague. "He was nicknamed the tiger, we have a huge tiger plush in our locker room that makes us think of him every day," says the one who lives in the south of the France. For him, it is necessary to strengthen the means dedicated to security.

"Today, we have a territory that is evolving, more and more people taking transport, and a team, when an incident happens ten kilometers from a point, can not intervene as it should. Security teams should spread," Laurent told Europe 1. "Tensions and incivilities are frequent," insists Jérôme, another fellow bus driver from Bayonne. Since the tragedy of 2020, this forty-year-old is much more careful at the wheel of his bus.

"Someone who does not have a ticket and who does not validate, I will not run after him to tell him to validate his ticket. We see that it does not take much for it to start. There are things I could have done and could have said a few years ago, now I do it twice before doing it. It's incivility and if we respond, it becomes aggressiveness," added Jerome. Laurent, Jérôme and the bus drivers of the Basque coast will take turns every day to attend the trial that opens in Pau this morning.