White van driver ‘launched savage machete attack on police officer during routine stop’

Muhammad Rodwan, 56, right, has gone on trial for the attempted murder of PC Stuart Outten (PA)

A white van driver repeatedly stabbed a police officer with a machete in a “savage” attack during a routine stop, a court has heard.

Muhammad Rodwan, 56, has gone on trial for attempted murder accused of stabbing PC Stuart Outten when he was pulled over in Leyton, east London, in August last year.

PC Outten, 29, suffered multiple stab wounds and skull fractures during the attack but still managed to use his Taser to disable Rodwan, the Old Bailey heard.

Rodwan, from Luton, has admitted striking PC Outten but denies attempted murder, claiming he acted in self-defence.

PC Stuart Outten was stabbed while carrying out a traffic stop (PA)

Opening the trial, Jonathan Rees QC said: “This case concerns a savage machete attack that was carried out by the defendant on a police constable during what should have been a routine stop of the defendant’s white van to investigate whether he was properly insured.

He added: “Despite the ferocity of the attack, and the seriousness of the wounds he had already received, PC Outten somehow managed to discharge his Taser weapon which disabled the defendant and brought the attack to an end.

“The evidence suggests that had he not managed to fire his Taser, his injuries could have been far worse and even fatal.”

The prosecutor said the incident was caught on the body-worn cameras of PC Outten and PC Helen Brooks, who was on duty with him.

Court artist sketch of Muhammad Rodwan, 56, appearing at Thames Magistrates' Court charged with the attempted murder (PA)

Eyewitnesses to the violence also recorded video clips on Snapchat and mobile phone which will be shown in the trial.

Mr Rees said: “The prosecution allege that this is a case of attempted murder, in that at the time of the machete attack, the defendant was intending to kill PC Outten.”

“For his part, the defendant doesn’t dispute that he struck Pc Outten with the machete, but he indicated during the interview that followed his arrest that he was acting in self-defence because ‘the officer attacked me’.”


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Rodwan, who works as a handyman, denies a charge of attempted murder, an alternative offence of wounding with intent between 6-9 August last year.

He is also charged with possessing an offensive weapon, namely a machete, on High Road, Leyton, on 7 August last year.

The case is being prosecuted by Jonathan Rees QC, with Michael Turner QC defending.

The trial is due to go on for up to two weeks.