A teenager who attacked a car with a “zombie knife” has been jailed for three and a half years after the court of appeal decided his suspended sentence was unduly lenient.

Joshua Gardner, 18, was caught on camera hitting a car with a large knife in rush-hour traffic in Croydon, south London, in May.

Gardner appeared at the court of appeal in London on Wednesday after Robert Buckland QC, the solicitor general, referred his sentence as being “unduly lenient”.

Buckland said Gardner attacked the vehicle “in a seriously violent and sustained way” using “a very large zombie knife”.

Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Nicol and Sir Brian Keith were shown dashcam footage of the incident, which was widely shared online at the time of the attack.

Buckland said Gardner previously had “some animosity” towards the victim, Levar Gilbert, which he said “resulted in a disgraceful incident which caused real fear to people in the vicinity, not least the victim himself”.

He said Gardner “produced the knife and attacked the outside of the vehicle”, before he eventually managed to smash the passenger window and “lunged into [the car] with the knife”.

He submitted that “what was intended, particularly by the thrusts through the broken car window, was to strike the head or upper body of the victim”.

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