Van rampage man in court in cuffs

Braintree and Witham Times: Karina Menzies, who was killed in a hit-and-run rampage in South Wales on Friday (South Wales Police/PA) Karina Menzies, who was killed in a hit-and-run rampage in South Wales on Friday (South Wales Police/PA)

A driver accused of mowing down pedestrians in a hit-and-run van rampage has appeared in court accused of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

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

He is accused of deliberately running down parents and young children in the Ely and Leckwith areas of Cardiff on Friday afternoon.

Mother-of-three Karina Menzies died and several children were injured in the rampage. Tvrdon will appear at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday.

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. "Unfortunately, at the moment I was between moving out," he told the court in a calm voice. Tvrdon spoke with a soft Cardiff accent as he confirmed his date of birth as November 13 1980.

Catrin Evans, prosecuting, said Tvrdon is charged with murder, 13 counts of attempted murder, four counts of actual bodily harm and one of dangerous driving. "They should be sent to the Crown Court along with the dangerous driving, which was the first incident that occurred," she said.

Ms Evans argued against granting him bail and said there had been "concerns" about his mental health. She said that since his arrest he had been to the Caswell Clinic in Bridgend for psychological assessment. District Judge Bodfan Jenkins remanded Tvrdon in custody until the Newport Crown Court hearing. Tvrdon left court with his head bowed but remained relaxed and seemingly unaffected by his appearance at the brief hearing.

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

Ms Menzies was mown down outside Ely fire station by the white Iveco van allegedly driven by Tvrdon. She was one of 14 pedestrians, half of them children, hit by the van which allegedly mounted kerbs deliberately. She was killed during 30 minutes of mayhem spread over three miles at Cardiff's Ely and Leckwith districts.

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