Matthew Tvrdon admits running down and killing mother-of-three Karina Menzies during van hit-and-run rampage in Cardiff

Van driver also admits seven counts of attempted murder

James Legge,Agencies
Saturday 25 May 2013 08:38
Karina Menzies, who was killed in Cardiff on Friday
Karina Menzies, who was killed in Cardiff on Friday

A man today admitted manslaughter, after a hit-and-run rampage last year which left mother-of-three Karina Matthews dead.

Matthew Tvrdon, 32, mowed down parents and young children during a spree in Cardiff last October in which Karina Menzies was knocked down and killed. He pleaded not guilty to her murder yesterday but admitted her manslaughter with diminished responsibility.

Tvrdon appeared via videolink at Cardiff Crown Court from Ashworth high security psychiatric hospital in Maghull, Merseyside.

He also pleaded guilty to seven separate charges of attempted murder, all linked to the hit-and-run spree on 19 October 19 last year.

Dressed in a black top and trousers and wearing glasses, he went on to plead guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and two of attempting to cause GBH with intent. He also admitted four counts of actual bodily harm with intent and a single count of dangerous driving.

He was originally charged with one count of murder, 13 counts of attempted murder, four counts of actual bodily harm and one of dangerous driving. The court heard how Tvrdon ran amok behind the wheel of his white Iveco van, careering through the Cardiff areas of Ely and Leckwith at speed. Ms Menzies, 31, was out with two of her three children when she was run down and killed outside Ely fire station.

Thirteen other people were injured in the chaotic scenes surrounding the apparently motiveless attack.

Ian Murphy QC, prosecuting, said he accepted that Tvrdon was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the incidents. He added that he would like to consult the victims to gauge what they thought of the guilty pleas.

“There are so many complexities to this case. It is important that those victims who want to be consulted are consulted,” he said.

Tvrdon pleaded not guilty to a number of charges including attempted murder and causing GBH with intent, which are alternatives to some of the offences he admitted.

Judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams adjourned proceedings until 5 June pending the outcome of consultations with the victims.

Mr Murphy said he was still ready to go to trial on that day if the victims and the prosecution were unhappy with the guilty pleas.

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