Shocking dashcam footage showed Joshua Gardner, 18, brandishing the enormous blade on a busy south London road before repeatedly slashing at the car and threatening its 19-year-old driver, who got out and ran away.We all remember the video. And the demands for 'tough action' against knife crime in its wake.
Well, here it is:
But an Old Bailey judge told Gardner he would only be given a suspended sentence because he was wielding the knife after a ten-day kidnap ordeal in which he was held at gunpoint.Who knew that the inevitable consequences of a life led as knife-wielding street vermin could protect you from your actions as knife-wielding street vermin!
I guess that's what appointing a diversity hire (she is the first non-white judge to be appointed to the Old Bailey) gets you.
But maybe he was a first-time offender? No. They never are.
Gardner, who had a previous conviction for attempting to rob a schoolboy of his mobile and wallet at knifepoint...But still, the poor little victim (no, not the schoolboy, keep up!)! Get your hankies at the ready!
Judge Anuja Dhir QC said: 'There was an incident of kidnapping between about March 26 and April 2, so a relatively short period of time before you committed this offence.
'You were bundled into a car, and threatened with a gun because of a drug debt that a friend of yours had run up.
'You were then taken to a place referred to as a trap house for ten days and you were made to sell drugs to work off the debt.'
The kidnapping, said to be by a gang of men in their 20s, 'reduced your culpability', she told Gardner.Bollocks it did!
Judge Dhir passed a sentence of two years in jail suspended for two years after hearing of his kidnap ordeal and reading a letter from his mother.Which reminded me of a Tweet I saw just yesterday:
Makes you think. Doesn't it?
Defence lawyer Mark Stevens told the court his client was 'thoroughly ashamed' of himself and for the 'pain' he had put his family through.
'His mother is really looking to move away from the area. It is a completely different borough,' he said.Yes, it probably is. But that's due to the presence of street thugs like Gardner! Still, it's nice to know some other borough will be enriched by his presence. One can only hope it's somewhere close to Anuja or her kin, but I rather doubt it...
'He was 17 at the time and I would urge the court to sentence him as if he were a 17-year-old.'
Instead of the powerfully built sullen little animal he is today...