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Man convicted over attacking police officer with machete in Leyton

PC Outten moments after the attack

A man has been convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent for attacking a police officer with a machete in Leyton.

Muhammad Rodwan struck PC Stuart Outten several times with the weapon as officers stopped his van in Leyton High Road in August 2019.

PC Outten, 29, managed to pull out his taser and discharged it, subduing Rodwan and saving his own life.

WARNING: The below footage may be upsetting for some people

Rodwan, 56, from Luton, was found not guilty of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Instead, a jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent.

He will be sentenced at the same court tomorrow.

PC Outten said: “What happened that day will always stay with me, I’ll always have that memory of how a plain and simple job can escalate into you having to fight for your life. I’ve had amazing support from my management, colleagues, family and friends. All I can do is move forward, I will not let it discourage me from doing the job I love.

“It’s been really hard seeing how it has affected my family, this has impacted on their lives as well. It also upset me to see my family having to deal with the distress of the court case and watch the harrowing footage – having to hear a machete repeatedly go into the skull of their loved one was not easy for them.

“As soon as I realised I’d been attacked with a machete, I just knew that I needed to stop him or he would kill me. I’ve been Taser trained since 2013 and luckily my training kicked in. When the first shot didn’t work, I remember thinking that if the second one didn’t work, that would be it and I’d be dead, but thankfully it did.

“I would like to thank the members of public who helped me on that evening and I’d also like to thank all the members of public who sent me well wishes, cards and gifts. It really meant a lot to me and my family.

“I’ve been off work for five months now, which has been frustrating. I’ve really missed working. I can’t wait to get back out on patrol, it’s what I love doing. My office is out on the street and I’m itching to get back out there.”

Officers had attempted to stop Rodwan as a check on his van’s number plate revealed he was not insured. 

PC Outten, who was driving, turned on the blue lights and signalled for the van to pull over, which it did.

Mr Outten’s colleague PC Helen Brooks went over and asked Rodwan to join her on the pavement.

But he refused and drove off.

300 metres down the road, he pulled over again at the request of the officers.

Rodwan got out of the van and shouted at PC Brooks. He then walked back to his van and started to become increasingly agitated. 

As PC Outten grabbed his arm, Rodwan lashed out and punched the officer in the face twice.

Rodwan then began hacking at PC Outten with a machete.

The officer was taken to hospital, for treatment on six deep wounds to the head, with associated multiple fractures to the skull, and two wounds to the lower part of his right arm with multiple fractures of the fingers.

PC Outten is still receiving rehabilitation on his injuries.

Rodwan was arrested and taken to a police station where the allegation of attempted murder was put to him. He said “This officer attacked me and I defended myself.” 

He then chose to not to reply to all other questions.

Muhammad Rodwan

After being charged, Rodwan said: “My life is worth more than his life.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “PC Outten will always have the physical scars from the attack and his hand will never recover its full strength. PC Outten was inundated with support from the public after the attack and as well as being sent kind messages, he received dozens of cards and gifts that still reached him despite only being addressed to ‘machete police officer London.’

“PC Outten hopes to be back patrolling the streets of London soon in his new position with the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command.”

Detective Chief Inspector Nathan Munson from the North East area’s CID, who led the investigation, said: “Rodwan was not acting in self-defence on that day – the number of blows, the force of the blows and targeted blows to PC Outten’s head proved this.

“It is reassuring for Londoners to know this violent individual will be unable to cause harm to other members of the emergency services or the wider public. I’m proud of PC Outten, he demonstrated incredible bravery and professionalism on the night of the incident, which undoubtedly prevented him suffering even more serious injuries.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to PC Outten’s friends, family and colleagues who have supported him throughout this traumatic time, and finally the investigation team whose dedication and commitment helped secure the conviction. I’m pleased to say PC Outten has recovered well from his injuries and is looking forward to returning to work.”

PC Outten in hospital after the attack

Commander for the North East Basic Command Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker, said: “This frenzied, brutal attack on PC Outten is a stark reminder of the dangers London’s officers face and confront every day to keep the public safe and tackle crime.

“Officers should be able to go about their work, protecting the public, without fear of abuse or attack. Unfortunately that is not the reality, and officers are regularly the victims of unacceptable physical assaults whilst on duty, but this is something we should never accept as ‘part of the job.’

“The Met takes officer welfare extremely seriously and continues to invest in the very best officer safety equipment. Luckily, PC Outten was carrying a Taser and miraculously managed to use it despite being savagely attacked. I honestly believe that using that Taser may have saved PC Outten’s life.

“I would once again like to commend the remarkable bravery, resilience and determination PC Outten showed that night. He is a real credit to the Met and to the communities he polices. Londoners are lucky to have officers like PC Outten looking out for them.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you to the members of the public who did not just stand there and watch, but stepped in to help. I would also like to say a sincere thank you to the London Ambulance Service and the Royal London Hospital for all the incredible care and compassion they showed to PC Outten on that night.”

PC Outten was one of 5,900 police officers and staff in the Met who were victims of assault in 2019.

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