A teenager who was filmed trying to smash a car window with a huge 'zombie-style' knife in Croydon has walked free from court.

Joshua Gardner was 17 at the time of the attack when he was seen by shocked witnesses wielding the large weapon in London Road on May 30.

It was after he was almost knocked from his bike that he pulled out the knife and tried to break a car's window during the terrifying incident.

Dashcam footage from another vehicle showed Gardner, who is now 18, attempting to force his way in from the passenger’s side of the vehicle before the driver was forced to flee.

Soon after, the video went viral online before Gardner admitted to affray and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

He went on trial at the Old Bailey this week on November 27 and received a two-year prison sentence for grievous bodily harm (GBH), as well as a year's imprisonment for both affray and possession of an offensive weapon or bladed article respectively.

All three were to run concurrently and suspended for two years.

The teenager, from London Road, was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and be subjected to a curfew for the next nine months.

The court heard that a 19-year-old man was sat in stationary traffic at around 4pm before Gardner pulled up next to him on a push bike.

The driver tried to pull away and overtake the traffic in front of him but came in contact with the cyclist.

But, as he was driving on the wrong side of the road and tried to get away, he crashed into an oncoming vehicle and van.

Gardner then abandoned his bike and ran towards the driver’s car before revealing the large ‘zombie-style’ knife which he had kept in his trouser waistband.

The 18-year-old was then seen repeatedly trying to smash the car’s window in a bid to gain access but failed as the driver left his vehicle and fled the scene.

Since the ruling police officers have slammed the decision, with some believing it “sends the wrong message”.

On Twitter, Scotland Yard Supt Roy Smith said: “My personal thoughts are that this sentence does not provide any form of deterrence, nor does it lead to frontline officers to feel that they are being supported by the rest of the judicial system.

“I’m not sure any reasonable person would see this as a deterrent.

“I also appreciate that this isn’t a problem that you will police your way out of. But, until we have a 10-year public health approach planned and funded, then we also need proactive tactics, [as well as] robust but fair and effective sentencing.”

In response to his tweets, Camden police said: “If nothing else, it simply sends the wrong message.”

But Detective Constable Aaron Champion, the investigating officer from Croydon CID, said his conviction and sentence insists it sends the message that police “will not tolerate his mindset”.