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Teenager who tried to attack driver with zombie knife avoids jail

A teenager seen brandishing a zombie knife as he tried to attack a driver has avoided jail.

Joshua Gardner caught on dashcam footage brandishing a knife

Joshua Gardner was handed a suspended sentence because, the judge said, he was kidnapped just weeks before.

The frightening video was filmed on a busy street in Croydon as people went about their day.

In the few weeks before you committed this offence, you were bungled into a car, threatened with a gun, because of a drug debt your friend had run up.

– Anuja Dhir QC, Judge
Joshua Gardner Credit: Met Police

Gardner's outburst of violence was caught on dashcam footage of a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

A police officer recognised Gardner from a previous conviction for attempted robbery.

This incident was extremely terrifying for onlookers - passersby. Gardner accepted that his behaviour was so serious in the street that his conduct caused members of the public to fear for their personal safety

– Crown Prosecution Service

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.

– Detective Constable Aaron Champion, Met Police