Convicted rapist is found guilty of machete attack on 'Britain's hardest cop'

Martin Evans
Pc Stuart Outten has said the attack will not change the way he acts as a police officer - PA

A convicted rapist, who had previously been jailed for carrying out a machete attack, has been found guilty of wounding a police officer - dubbed "Britain's hardest cop".

Pc Stuart Outten, 29, suffered horrific injuries when Muhammad Rodwan attacked him with a 2ft long blade in August last year.

The officer had pulled over Rodwan's white van in Leyton, east London for having no insurance, when the handyman suddenly launched a ferocious attack on him.

Mr Outten managed to Taser Rodwan twice, but suffered deep gashes to his head, broken fingers and a wound to the arm.

Rodwan, 56, who has previous convictions for rape and two machete attacks, claimed he acted in self defence, telling police: "My life is worth more than his life."

After deliberating for seven hours at the Old Bailey, Rodwan was found guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Pc Stuart Outten has said the attack will not change the way he acts as a police officer

But he was cleared of possessing an offensive weapon and attempted murder and will be sentenced on Friday morning.

Rodwan made no reaction as the verdicts were delivered.

Reacting to the not guilty verdict to the attempted murder charge, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: "This incident was an attempted murder.

"Had my colleague PC Stuart Outten not utilised the Taser when he did, he would have received further blows and would not have been able to defend himself. It would have been fatal.

"My colleagues are facing these kinds of incidents on a daily basis from members of the public.

"This was a ferocious attack on a colleague and I am saddened by the verdict that has come back on this."

He had claimed he had the machete in his van for his gardening work.

Afterwards, Pc Outten said he counted himself "very lucky" to survive, saying "thankfully" his head was hard enough to withstand the onslaught.

Muhammad Rodwan has been jailed for a previous machete attack 

In a victim impact statement read to court, Pc Outten said: "This incident has changed my life but I hope it has not changed the way I police."

He said: "On that night I was just doing my job, doing what I'm trained to do, but more importantly making sure I didn't die, because that was a distinct possibility had the attack carried on.

"Once he's started hitting me in the head with the machete, then I realised it was escalating very quickly and I was having to now fight for my life.

"I recall specifically as I was falling to the floor, having fired the first shot and aiming for the second (thinking) that if this doesn't work, this might be it.

"But luckily the Taser worked. It did its job. He fell incapacitated next to me and I was able to use it to keep him on the floor and to keep myself alive.

“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.”

Pc Stuart Outten was attacked with a two foot machete

Of his attacker, he said: "It feels good to see the system going through the paces, but personal feelings for him? I don't have any.

"There's no hatred. He did what he did, he's now paying the price for it.

"I don't feel the attack was personal. He was attacking an officer in uniform and I responded as such."

The jury was not told that Rodwan had previously attacked two men with a machete in the bedroom of his flat in east London in 1996.

The defendant, then known as Rodney Reid, was jailed at Snaresbrook Crown Court for nine years for wounding with intent.

In 1983, he was jailed at the Old Bailey for three years for rape and in 2008 he received a caution for having cannabis, according to sources.

At the time of his arrest last year, Rodwan gave a relative's address in Luton, Bedfordshire, but went on to tell jurors he slept in his van around Waltham Forest.

During his trial, Mrs Justice Carr ruled Rodwan's violent past was inadmissible despite jurors asking about previous convictions.