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Cardiff Hit-And-Run Driver Given Hospital Order

A 32-year-old man who killed a mother-of-three and admitted attempting to murder seven other people during a series of hit-and-run incidents in Cardiff last year has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Matthew Tvrdon was given an indeterminate hospital order under the Mental Health Act and will continue to be detained at Ashworth high security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside.
Tvrdon, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, killed 31-year-old Karina Menzies and injured 17 other people, including seven children, during a half hour of "madness and mayhem" across five different locations in Cardiff on Friday October 19, 2012.
The tax office worker denied the murder of Ms Menzies, pleading guilty instead to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He also entered guilty pleas to seven counts of attempted murder, and 12 other charges including assaulting children and a police officer as well as dangerous driving.
The court heard eyewitnesses describe how Tvrdon drove his three-tonne white van the wrong way along busy roads in the Welsh capital, before crossing several lanes of traffic, mounting the curb and mowing down pedestrians.
For eight miles he deliberately targeted women and children, running over some victims a second time after he had already ploughed them over.
Police made several brave attempts to stop Tvrdon who was "in the grips of a psychotic episode" and eventually brought the attacks to an end after a skillful high-speed "fishtail manoeuvre" which spun his vehicle to a halt.
Many of his victims have suffered life-changing injuries.
In an impact statement 49-year-old Gill White, who was run over and dragged off a petrol station forecourt and remains in a wheelchair, told the judge Tvrdon had "taken my life away from me".
Appearing for the second day of sentencing via videolink from Ashworth maximum security unit, Tvrdon was dressed in a pale blue open-necked shirt and showed no reaction as the judge handed down the hospital order.
Judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams told him: "You used your van as a weapon, you used it to kill Karina Menzies. You ran over her and her two children. There is compelling evidence you ran over her not once, but twice."
He added: "On any view you have committed a large number of grave crimes.
"You have caused incalculable harm to many people."
Following the sentencing, Ms Menzies' sister, Samantha, said: "Nothing will be good enough, but it isn't justice in my eyes."
She earlier paid tribute to her sister who died "a hero" and "threw her two young daughters out of the path of the van and took the full impact herself".
She added: "She was dear to us all. The only thing that keeps me going is bringing up her girls. I see Karina in every one of them, which is comforting. They are inspirational children and are an absolute credit to my sister."
The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Ceri Hughes said: "On behalf of South Wales Police I would like to express our gratitude to the victims and witnesses for their help and bravery and also to the firefighters, ambulance staff and hospital staff who worked together in unprecedented circumstances to provide the best possible care to those involved in these tragic events.
"We hope that today's outcome helps all those affected, particularly Karina's devastated family, to somehow now move forward with their lives."
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