Man in court over fatal van rampage

First published in National News © by

A van driver has appeared in court accused of murdering a mother-of-three and attempting to murder 13 other pedestrians, including seven children, in a hit-and-run rampage.

Matthew Tvrdon, 31, was led into Cardiff Magistrates' Court with his hands cuffed behind his back.

He is accused of deliberately driving into parents and young children during 30 minutes of mayhem spread over three miles in Cardiff's Ely and Leckwith districts on Friday afternoon.

Karina Menzies, 31, was killed outside Ely fire station by a white Iveco van. She was one of 14 pedestrians, half of them children, hit by the van, which allegedly mounted kerbs deliberately.

Tvrdon looked relaxed as he was released from his handcuffs and brought into the courtroom. Unshaven and wearing a black jumper, he was asked to confirm that he was of no fixed address. Tvrdon spoke with a soft Cardiff accent as he confirmed his date of birth as November 13 1980.

He is charged with murder, 13 counts of attempted murder, four counts of actual bodily harm and one of dangerous driving.

District Judge Bodfan Jenkins remanded Tvrdon in custody. He will appear at Newport Crown Court at 10am on Tuesday via video link. Tvrdon left court with his head bowed but appeared relaxed over his appearance at the brief hearing.

Cardiff remained in shock as the wider community struggled to come to terms with the events of Friday afternoon.

Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday night to share their grief in a poignant prayer service at the Church of the Resurrection in Ely.

Reverend Jan Gould, who led the special church service, had earlier broken down during her morning service at the church in front of a packed congregation.

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