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Croydon 'zombie knife' sentence referred to Court of Appeal

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media captionThe attack happened on London Road in Croydon

A teenager who was convicted of trying to smash a car window with a large knife has had his "lenient" sentence referred to the Court of Appeal.

Joshua Gardner, 18, was filmed using the "zombie knife" to break into a car in Croydon, south London, in May.

He was convicted of three charges at the Old Bailey in November and given a two-year suspended sentence.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC made the referral due to the "serious nature of the offence concerned".

Gardner, from London Road, Thornton Heath, was found guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and had previously admitted affray and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

At the time Met Police Supt Roy Smith said the suspended sentence was "not a deterrent", and it also drew criticism from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The "unduly lenient" sentence referral was made to the Attorney General's Office which considered the details of the case.

image copyrightMet Police
image captionGardner gave a "no comment" interview following his arrest

Mr Buckland said: "Gardner took to the streets in broad daylight, terrorising his victim and those members of the public who witnessed this extreme act of violence with a dangerous weapon.

"It is now for the court [of appeal] to decide whether to increase the sentence."

Gardner was on a bike when he pulled up alongside car with a 19-year-old man inside on London Road on 30 May.

The man tried to drive off and almost made contact with Gardner's bike which led to him to attack the car and smash the passenger window with the large knife.

The Court of Appeal may decide to keep the sentence the same, increase it or issue guidance for future cases, the Attorney General's Office said.

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