Teenage girl filmed trying to break her way in the car with zombie knife walks free from court



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A teenage thug who tried to get into a car with a big zombie knife left court today on condition of staying home with his mother for the next nine months.

Joshua Gardner, 18, produced the frightening weapon of his pants when the car pulled up in front of him and almost knocked him off his bike.

In front of shocked passersby on bustling Croydon Street, Gardener tried to clear his way through the car window with his knife and repeatedly kicked the side of the vehicle.

Images of cameras from another car showed Gardner, then only 17, breaking the window on the passenger's side and reaching for the gun in his hand, forcing the driver to abandon his vehicle and flee.

The shooting of the incident, which occurred at 5 pm on May 30, was viral online and Gardner admitted desolation and possession of an offensive weapon. He denied, but was convicted in the trial last week for attempting to cause serious bodily harm.

Condemned: Joshua Gardner, 18,

Judge Anuja Dhir QC told the teenager that the "extremely serious" incident justified a prison sentence, but she was releasing him because he has "a realistic perspective of rehabilitation."

She handed Gardner a two-year suspended sentence for two years, a nine-month curfew between 7 pm and 7 pm and 150 hours of community service. He must also complete up to 20 days of rehab and 19 sessions of "thinking skills".

"I can see your mother in the public gallery and she knows I was considering these requirements and appreciates what that means," said the judge.

"Considering everything I've seen, heard and read about you, I think this phrase offers protection to the public and punishment through curfew and unpaid work, but it also gives you an opportunity to address your offensive behavior."

Judge Dhir said she read a letter of support from Gardner's mother, as well as a parole report describing her troubled upbringing, including, at age 13, finding her brother dead from a seizure.

She was also informed that the teenager claims to have been the victim of a kidnapping in late March, where she was held in a "trap house" for ten days and forced to sell drugs.

The footage of the knife-zombie attack was played at Old Bailey last week during Gardner's trial, which went on despite the victim's refusal to cooperate with the police.

"It was a scary incident, you attacked a car in a menacing and threatening manner," the judge said.

"You were pedaling just as the driver of a blue car, Mr. Gilbert, took out and locked your bike.

"It was clear that you knew Mr. Gilbert. You were seen attacking the car with your foot, your fists and a zombie knife that you took from the waist.

"You were seen attacking the driver's window and the side of the car. You then tried to open the rear passenger door and quickly moved to the other side of the car and broke the front passenger window.

"You put your hand with the knife inside it in the car, and Mr. Gilbert got out of the car and ran off."

The judge said that Gardner initially intended to injure the driver, but evidently abandoned that plan because he did not chase him down the street.

Thornton Heath's Gardner, who was already convicted of attempting to rob a student while brandishing a pocketknife, spent nearly six months in custody awaiting trial but was released this afternoon after the hearing.

Michael Halepas, a CPS prosecutor, said the case was not hampered by a lack of cooperating witnesses as the panel footage was so clear.

"The violence that unfolded so suddenly in broad daylight on a busy Croydon street horrified the audience members. Joshua Gardner took out a zombie knife and used it to smash the door of a vehicle violently to get to the driver. Luckily for the driver who fled the scene, Gardner did not pursue him beyond the vehicle.

"The main evidence in this case was the filming of the trailer that captured the attack. Gardner denied that he intended to cause any harm, but using the strong evidence of video provided by the camera of a passing vehicle, the prosecution was able to prove to jurors that he was lying. The jury was convinced that Gardner intended to use the zombie knife against the victim and not just scare him.

"We recognize the scourge of serious crime with knives in this city and we are working hard to prosecute the offenders."

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