London

Alex Traykov jailed for knife ambush on police officers

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Media captionThe moment Alex Traykov attacked Met officers with a kitchen knife

A man who ambushed four police officers with a knife after luring them to a house with a bogus 999 call has been jailed for 15 years.

Alex Traykov, 20, falsely reported a fight in Islington, north London, on 6 October.

When the officers arrived, the Old Bailey heard, he launched a "ferocious" attack without warning.

He was cleared of attempted murder, but found guilty of three counts of wounding with intent.

Jurors also found him guilty of attempted wounding with intent.

Jailing Traykov, Judge Wendy Joseph QC said it was a "truly terrifying incident".

'Unseen mental injury'

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told how Traykov attacked the officers without hesitation or warning.

He was caught on CCTV bringing the blade down onto the head of PC Istarlin Said-Ali, 31, cutting her raised hand.

Traykov lunged at PC Rafal Kedziora, 34, cutting his face and slashing the back of his neck and then turned on PC Ben Thomson, 40, before PC Launa Watkins, 39, subdued him with her Taser.

Giving evidence, the university drop-out from Redhill, Surrey, accepted he had injured the officers but denied he meant them serious harm.

He claimed he was so "high" on strong cannabis he was not thinking straight.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Alex Traykov blamed "strong" cannabis for his behaviour

Following his conviction, he said he was "very sorry".

The four officers became emotional as they read out victim impact statements in court.

PC Said-Ali said she was left "insecure, scared and anxious going outside, especially in the dark".

PC Thomson told of the "unseen mental injury" to him and his colleagues from the "ferocious" attack, including regular night terrors.

PC Watkins recalled that she and her colleagues thought they were going to die at Traykov's hands.

Speaking outside court, Det Insp Kate Stannard commended their bravery in the face of a "nightmare" situation.

She said: "What they faced that night on 6 October was a violent and frenzied attack."