Jurors see dramatic footage of alleged knife attack on four police officers
Dramatic CCTV footage of a university drop-out allegedly attacking four police officers with a large kitchen knife has been played in court.
Alex Traykov, 20, made a bogus 999 call under the alias “Solomon” to report a fictitious fight in Islington, north London, on the evening of October 6 last year.
When police arrived in Liverpool Road, he produced a knife and injured the officers, the court heard.
Giving evidence, Traykov admitted he made the fake call as a “prank” and was responsible for hurting the constables but denied he intended to kill or seriously injure them.
Bulgarian-born Traykov said he had smoked cannabis before making the 999 call and it had a “very different” effect to what he had experienced before.
He said: “It was not a normal high I was experiencing … It was very strong and I lost concentration. I was moving and doing things without actually thinking about it.”
After Traykov called 999 for a “prank”, he said: “At the time it was amusing to me, but now I can say for certain it was not funny at all.”
In the minutes before the officers’ arrival on the doorstep, Traykov claimed he toasted crumpets, spread them with jam and cut them up and was still holding a large knife when he answered the door.
The court has heard how Traykov then allegedly attack Pc Istarlin Said-Ali, 31, bringing the blade down in her head, cutting her hand as she warded off a second blow.
He then allegedly ran at the other officers, lunging at Pc Rafal Zedziora, 34, inflicting a 4cm cut to his face, and slashing the back of his neck.
He wounded 40-year-old Pc Ben Thomson’s arm and continued to rain down blows before he was twice tasered by Pc Launa Watkins, 39, the court was told.
The court heard that Traykov had been visiting a college friend at the address in Islington at the time of the incident, which was captured on CCTV.
Traykov had contact with police three times before for having a cannabis joint and shoplifting, but insisted he held no grudge against them.
The former Winchester University history student told jurors: “I have felt terrible since I came to prison and I have thought about it every day, tried to reason and live with it.
“I thought about the officers, how they were injured, and now I have seen them in court it’s 10 times worse for me.
“I have had problems sleeping and whatnot as well.”
Traykov also told the court he had previously suffered from depression and anxiety and dropped out of university to pursue a music career, to his mother’s “disappointment”.
Under cross-examination Duncan Atkinson QC challenged Traykov’s explanation for having a knife when the police called.
He said: “So you have still got the big knife in your hand rather than the one you have used last to put the jam on.
“You brought it into the hall although you did not need it and you put on shoes still holding the knife and it is at that point the buzzer goes?
“In less than three minutes you have forgotten you have called police in the first place and although you knew that you should not be in the address when the police arrive you had taken no steps by the time they arrived to leave, apart from putting shoes on.
“It did not happen like that, did it?
“You called police because you wanted them to arrive quickly and they did and when they arrived you were in the hall waiting for them.”
The defendant denied it saying he was still “high” and “not thinking straight”.
The unemployed defendant, of Redhill, Surrey, denies four charges of attempted murder, and three alternative charges of wounding with intent and one of attempted wounding with intent.