A teenager who was captured on dash-cam footage attacking a driver with a large ‘zombie style’ knife in rush hour traffic has had his sentence increased today Wednesday, 30 January at the Court of Appeal.
Joshua Gardner, 18 [09.07.00] 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 at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 27 November, 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.
Today at the Court of Appeal that sentence was overturned and received a custodial sentence of three years’ and six months at a Young Offenders Institute.
The court heard that on 30 May at around 16:00 hours 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.
Upon 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.
Arrest enquiries were conducted and 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.
He had also been ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service.
At a time when knife violence is seen by many as being the worse that it has been in years, anything other than a custodial sentence attracted widespread criticism by the public.
Those who have been campaigning for tougher sentences for knife-enabled crime will no-doubt see this new sentence that was handed down to Gardner at the Court of Appeal as a relative ‘success’.
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