CCTV Cardiff Hit And Run Mayhem Matthew Tvrdon on 'journey of mayhem'

A hit-and-run driver killed a
mother-of-three after deliberately setting out to hit her and her children like
"skittles", Cardiff Crown Court heard.Matthew Tvrdon, 31, drove his van on a "journey of mayhem" for eight miles
over 30 minutes on 19 October 2012.Karina Menzies, 31, died and 17 others were hurt at five locations in
Cardiff. Tvrdon, who has paranoid schizophrenia, has admitted manslaughter on the
grounds of diminished responsibility and seven counts of attempted murder.During the sentencing the court heard seven children were among those hurt as
Tvrdon drove his white three-tonne Iveco van into them.Tvrdon had deliberately tried to kill at least one adult in each of the five
family groups he targeted, the court was told.Witnesses saw the van veer off the road and straight into the Menzies family.
Ms Menzies pushed her children out of the way before the van hit her. Tvrdon,
the court was told, turned around and ran over her again.
Another witness described how Ms Menzies was semi-conscious and her children
were calling out for their mother.A video was played of Tvrdon driving a Renault Clio car along another main
road in Cardiff. It showed him speeding through red lights and into oncoming
traffic. He also mounted grass verges.He was then seen driving to the car park of West End social club in Ely,
where he stopped and got into the van. His ex-girlfriend Lisa Davies tried in
vain to stop him.The prosecution said it was the start of a "journey of mayhem" covering eight
miles and taking nearly half-an-hour.
The court was shown CCTV footage which showed each of the attacks in
detail:

The first victims were at Crossways Road in the Ely area of the city. A
woman, 29, and her two children - a boy, nine, and girl, eight, were injured.
One child was dragged under the van but "eventually rolled from under it".
In Cowbridge Road West, a man, 24, and woman, 22 walking their two-year-old
daughter in a buggy near Ely Reptile Centre were targeted. The child was
catapulted out of the pushchair. The mother thought the van was going to go over
the overturned pram but it slowed and avoided it.
Karina Menzies and her two children, eight and 23 months, were the next
people Tvrdon drove at near Ely fire station in Cowbridge Road West.
At Grand Avenue in Ely, a woman and her two children were hit on a zebra
crossing. A statement from the mother said: "I saw a big white van coming
towards me. By the time I saw this it was only a matter of feet away from us. It
had reached the zebra crossing out of nowhere." A witness said the youngest girl
was "crying for her mother" and complaining about her leg and arm after the
incident.
Tvrdon later attacked three people with a steering rack at the Asda petrol
station at Leckwith retail park with the victims suffering minor injuries.
He got back into his van and the court heard one woman, 49, tried to
remonstrate with him but he ran her over and then her 27-year-old daughter and
they were dragged under the van as he drove out of the forecourt. They suffered
multiple injuries.
The court was told that Tvrdon then left the scene and was stopped by police
near the Baron's Court restaurant in Penarth Road. He attempted to resist arrest and tried to assault a policeofficer with a
crook lock, before being sprayed with CS gas.Later, Tvrdon, who tested negative for drink and drugs, told police he was
under stress at work and had split up from his girlfriend.
He told police what he had done was a "horrendous" thing and in his version
of events, he said he felt "hazy" and felt he had been personally threatened by
others.Tvrdon said he had not been feeling "right about himself or his mind and this
was not a feeling he had before in his previous mental health episodes".The court heard Tvrdon had been sleeping rough for a few days in the run up
to the incidents and when he got into the van that day had intended to drive to
a local industrial estate and go to sleep in it.But instead he began to drive erratically and targeted pedestrians, the court
heard.During police interviews, Tvrdon said he experienced a "fit of fury" during
the incident at the fire station where Ms Menzies was fatally injured. Tvrdon, who has no previous convictions, told police: "It felt like what I
wanted to do was kill these people but in actually doing it, it felt really
wrong," the court heard.The hearing was told that Tvrdon had spent time under psychiatric care in
2003 and 2007 after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but he had
stopped taking his medication in 2011.


The court heard he "behaved strangely and bizarrely in the days before the
offences".One expert said after the Cardiff attacks Tvrdon was "in the grip of a severe
psychotic illness," theprosecution said.Paul Keleher QC, defending, said Tvrdon was diagnosed as a paranoid
schizophrenic in July 2003 and had been treated for that illness.But in October 2011, he was discharged from psychiatric services because he
was not considered a danger to himself or anyone else and was told to gradually
cut his medication down before stopping taking it entirely.However it became apparent that his condition deteriorated, the defence
added.Mr Keleher said Tvrdon's recollection of the hit-and-run incidents was a
"blur" and he was said to have told police: "I couldn't believe what I had
done... I just went for them, went for all of them".He added Tvrdon's mental state at the time was that he thought he was sane
but believed everyone was trying to drive him out of his mind.The court was told in February this year he was still considered delusional
by mental health experts.By March he was considered to be improving and was coming to a "realisation
about what he had done" but this was causing him to be depressed.His lawyer said that when Tvrdon was not ill he was a
"thoroughly pleasant, kind, thoughtful, even timid man".Written evidence from his ex-girlfriend Lisa Davies was read out. While
intervening, she noticed Tvrdon looked "dreadful". He got into the van and did
not seem to notice her and she had to jump out of the way.
"I know that person that did this wasn't the person I lived with for the last
17 months," she said.And part of a letter from Tvrdon's parents was read out in court in which
they said he was now "profoundly conscious" of what he had done and would have
to live with his "terrible guilt" for the rest of his life.Last month, Tvrdon, of no fixed address, admitted manslaughter on the grounds
of diminished responsibility and seven counts of attempted murder.He has also pleaded guilty to two counts of grievous bodily harm, five counts
of actual bodily harm, two attempted grievous bodily harm, one count of assault
by beating and one charge of dangerous driving.

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