'Terrifying and traumatic': Liverpool Road 999 caller guilty of attacking police officers with knife – but cleared of attempted murder
PUBLISHED: 15:46 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:26 17 April 2019
A hoax 999 caller who attacked police officers with a kitchen knife on the steps of a Liverpool Road address was today convicted of grievous bodily harm (GBH) at the Old Bailey.
A hoax 999 caller who carried out a “traumatic and terrifying” knife attack on four police officers outside a Liverpool Road address was convicted of GBH at the Old Bailey today.
After eight hours of deliberation, jurors found Alex Traykov, 20, guilty of three counts of GBH with intent and one count of attempted GBH – but they cleared him of four alternative indictments of attempted murder.
Traykov, of Redhill, Surrey, was 19 when he lured cops into a “chilling ambush” at his friend's property by pretending two men were having a fight there, and giving his name as Solomon.
But during an eight-day trial jurors heard how four officers instead arrived to a darkened flat, where only a basement light was on, and that Traykov answered the door with his hand behind his back to conceal the large kitchen knife he was holding.
The senior investigating officer, Det Insp Kate Stannard, said: “Traykov armed with a knife carried out frenzied and violent attacked on four police officers, repeatedly stabbing them.
“As officers were knocked to the ground Alex Traykov continued in his attack and the officers sustained numerous serious knife wounds. Thankfully, one of the officers was carrying a Taser gun and managed to use it and this stopped Alex Traykov for long enough to allow officers to detain him. I honestly believe that using that Taser saved the lives of the four officers involved.”
Jurors heard how Traykov first attacked Pc Istarlin Said-Ali, 31, bringing the knife down at her head and cutting her hand as she blocked the second blow.
He then ran at Rafal Kedziore, 34, slashing a 4cm wound to his face and cutting the back of his neck.
The defendant also wounded a third officer, Ben Thompson, 40, by slashing his arms and proceeding to rain blows on him. He was detained after Pc Laura Watkins, 39, tasered him twice.
After the verdict Pc Said-Ali said: “I joined this job knowing the risks that comes with it however I never thought I would ever come close to death like I did on that night and no level of training could have prepared us for what we had to endure.
“Although we are police officers, we are human beings just like the communities we serve. We should be able to go to work and do the job we have chosen to do without a fear of not going home to our loved ones at the end of our shift.”
Pc Kedziora added: “We experience traumatic events daily, and are frequently placed in dangerous situations, which yes is part of the job, and accept that; we run towards danger and not away from it. I and my colleagues came to work that evening to protect and serve the community, I have been left with life-changing injuries that my family and I are continuing to come to terms with, and the mental scars may never heal.”
During the trial Duncan Antkins QC, for the Crown, said: “The defendant was acting throughout in a determined way, making a series of deliberate large movements of the knife towards the officers.
“He continued after them as they sought to retreat. He continued to stab at them after they had fallen to the ground.”
During the trial jurors heard how the former Winchester University student called 999 as a “prank” and was so high on cannabis he wasn't thinking.
Jurors found him guilty of the lesser charges by a majority of 10 to 2.
Traykov is to be sentenced on May 10.