A teenager who was captured on dash cam footage attacking a driver with a large ‘zombie style’ knife in rush hour traffic has been sentenced at the Old Bailey.
Joshua Gardner, 18, of London Road, Croydon was convicted previously on Thursday, 22 November of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent – and had previously pleaded guilty on 7 June to affray and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
He received the following custodial sentences, suspended for a period of two years, and all to run concurrently:
– Grievous bodily harm – two years’ imprisonment;
– Affray – 12 months’ imprisonment;
– Possession of an offensive weapon/bladed article – 12 months’ imprisonment.
He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and will be subject to a curfew for nine months.
The court heard that on 30 May at around 4pm, a 19-year old man was sat in his car in stationary traffic in London Road, Croydon, when Gardener, who was aged 17 at the time, pulled up alongside him on a bike.
On seeing Gardner, the man tried to pull away and attempted to overtake the stationary traffic in front of him and, as he did so he almost made contact with Gardner’s push bike.
He then drove on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to get away and crashed into an oncoming vehicle and a van. This led to Gardner abandoning his push bike and running towards the man’s car, producing a large ‘zombie’ style knife which he had taken from the right hand side of his trouser waistband.
Gardner then hit the rear driver’s side door of the car with the knife repeatedly. Gardner attempted to gain access to the car by pulling at the rear driver’s side door and then went round to the nearside of the vehicle.
He continued to aim kicks and knife blows at the car, hitting the front passenger window with the blade, smashing it, and causing the man to exit his vehicle in a panic and flee down the road.
The incident was witnessed by several members of the public, with Gardner’s outburst of violence caught on the dash-cam footage of a vehicle that was travelling in the opposite direction.
These images, which were widely circulated in the media, led to Gardner being identified and caught – thanks to a eagle-eyed police officer coming forward who had recognised Gardner due to a previous conviction for attempted robbery.
On Monday, 4 June Gardner was arrested at an address in Thornton Heath. He was taken to a South London police station where he gave a no comment interview.
On, Tuesday 5 June Gardner was charged with affray, possession of an offensive weapon and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
Detective Constable Aaron Champion, the investigating officer from Croydon CID, said: “The footage that was circulated widely in the media, which showed Gardner waving around a ‘zombie’ style knife understandably shocked both the communities of Croydon and the wider public.
“He had decided that day for whatever reason that he would attack this man and brazenly pulled out this knife in front of horrified members of the public, some of whom had finished work or had collected their children from school.
“His conviction and sentence send out the message that the police will not tolerate the mind-set Gardner seems to have adopted – that the casual use of a knife is justfied to settle even minor differences.”