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Man who attacked four police officers with knife after hoax 999 call found guilty

‘I saw a metal glint and I automatically knew it could only be a knife'

Zamira Rahim
Tuesday 16 April 2019 20:48 BST
CCTV of four police officers allegedly attacked with knife in London

A man who lured police to a fake crime scene before attacking four officers with a knife has been cleared of attempted murder.

Alex Traykov called 999 to report a fight at a house in Islington, north London last October.

He was captured on CCTV as he waited in a flat with a large kitchen knife behind his back.

When four constables arrived he attacked, stabbing three of them before he was tasered.

The 20-year-old later claimed the call had been a “prank” on his friend.

“Without hesitation or warning and certainly without the slightest provocation from the officers he raised his right hand and proceeded to attack the officers,” prosecutor Duncan Atkinson told London's Old Bailey.

Traykov attacked police constable Istarlin Said-Ali first, initially lunging for her head and then cutting her hand as she tried to defend herself, the court heard. He then stabbed Rafal Zedziora, cutting his face and the back of the constable’s neck with the blade, before turning the blade on Ben Thompson,

Launa Watkins, the fourth officer, used a taser twice to subdue him.

Ms Said-Ali said her attacker was “emotionless” before producing the blade.

“As soon as I said ‘he’s definitely got something in his hand’, he launched towards me with a raised hand, a knife in his hand,” she told the court. “At the time I did not see a knife, but I saw a metal glint and I automatically knew it could only be a knife. I tried to protect myself so naturally I raised my arms. He tried to attack me with the knife. He made contact, hitting my middle finger and also to the back of my head.

“I had gone backwards down the stairs. We all fell on top of each other.”

Traykov accepted he had hurt the police officers but claimed he had not been thinking clearly as he was “high” after taking cannabis.

He claimed the call had been a prank on a friend, who owned the Islington flat at which the attack took place.

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The former student said he had been making crumpets with jam when the police officers arrived.

“I have felt terrible since I came to prison and I have thought about it every day, tried to reason and live with it,” he said. “I thought about the officers, how they were injured, and now I have seen them in court it’s 10 times worse for me.”

After deliberating for eight hours the jury cleared him of attempted murder but found him guilty of three counts of wounding with intent and one count of attempted wounding with intent.

Judge Wendy Joseph said he was likely to face a “substantial” prison term when he is sentenced on 10 May.

Additional reporting by agencies

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