KNIFE­MAN FLOORED

HE­ROES TAKE DOWN CY­CLIST WHO WAS ARMED WITH A TER­RI­FY­ING HUNT­ING KNIFE IN THE CITY CEN­TRE

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - JES­SICA WAL­FORD AND ALEX CUT­LER echo.ews­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

BRAVE mem­bers of the pub­lic tack­led a man caught with a “highly dan­ger­ous” hunt­ing knife as he fled from po­lice in Cardiff city cen­tre.

Muaz Taraf­dar, 20, was caught on cam­era as he fled on a bike from of­fi­cers in a busy Cas­tle Street at lunchtime on Sun­day.

Af­ter cy­cling through traf­fic lights near the An­gel Ho­tel head­ing to­wards Cardiff Cas­tle by­standers re­alised he was be­ing chased by the po­lice and at­tempted to stop him.

A video of the in­ci­dent showed one man wear­ing a blue jacket rac­ing over to him and knock­ing him off his bike. Taraf­dar fell into the road be­fore scrambling to his feet.

Taraf­dar then started to head to­wards West­gate Street on foot, with mem­bers of the pub­lic in pur­suit.

But an­other man cross­ing the road at the time hero­ically man­aged to take him out with his feet – leav­ing Taraf­dar on his back in the mid­dle of the road again.

He was then ar­rested by of­fi­cers from South Wales Po­lice.

At Cardiff Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day, just 24 hours af­ter the in­ci­dent, Taraf­dar pleaded guilty to the pos­ses­sion of a knife blade or sharp ar­ti­cle in a pub­lic place.

Dur­ing sen­tenc­ing the court heard a 999 call was ini­tially made fol­low­ing an al­ter­ca­tion out­side the Mer­cure Ho­tel in New­port Road.

A man match­ing Taraf­dar’s de­scrip­tion was sub­se­quently spot­ted on CCTV and he was pur­sued by po­lice be­fore fi­nally be­ing ap­pre­hended.

The ter­ri­fy­ing hunt­ing knife was found in his back­pack in its sheath.

De­fence solic­i­tor Nia James told the court Taraf­dar had a “sig­nif­i­cant dif­fi­culty with cannabis” and uses “a joint a day”.

She added he also used crack co­caine, of­ten spend­ing £10 a day on the drug.

Un­em­ployed Taraf­dar’s most re­cent job saw him work­ing in var­i­ous roles in restau­rants two months ago, the court heard.

He was said to have no fixed ad­dress but reg­u­larly re­lied on friends to put him up.

Taraf­dar, of no fixed abode, was sen­tenced to six months in prison and or­dered to pay a £115 sur­charge.

District Judge Bod­fan Jenk­ins told him dur­ing sen­tenc­ing that he had no choice but to im­pose the most se­vere sen­tence on him be­cause of high rates of knife crime in the coun­try.

He said: “You had in your pos­ses­sion a par­tic­u­larly, if not highly, dan­ger­ous weapon in very dan­ger­ous cir­cum­stances. In the cir­cum­stances of the case this clearly crosses the cus­tody thresh­old. There can be no rea­son for sus­pend­ing the sen­tence.”

ANDY BROWN

The mo­ment Muaz Taraf­dar, be­low left, who was bran­dish­ing a large knife, be­low right, was taken down by mem­bers of the pub­lic in Cardiff city cen­tre

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