'Britain's hardest cop' hacked in the head in brutal machete attack 'just did his job'

Will Taylor
News Reporter

A Met Police officer who managed to Taser his attacker as he hacked at his skull with a machete has said he was “just doing his job”.

PC Stuart Outten, 29, dubbed “Britain’s hardest cop” in the press, took six blows to the head from a 2ft-long rusty blade as Muhammad Rodwan lashed out at the officer in August last year in Leyton.

He had stopped Rodwan – who was today found guilty of wounding with intent but cleared of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon – in east London when he suspected his van was uninsured.

Jurors at the Old Bailey trial were shown graphic police body-cam footage which showed Rodwan punching the officer before grabbing a sharpened machete as PC Outten attempted to arrest him.

“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,” PC Outten said.

“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.

PC Stuart Outten at New Scotland Yard in London (PA)

“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.”

Gruesome pictures of PC Outten’s wounds have been released by the Met, and clearly show his bloodied head.

Rodwan is due to be sentenced on Friday. He has previous convictions for rape and two machete attacks.

PC Outten 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.”

But he dismissed the “Britain’s hardest cop” tag attached to him.

“Luckily I have the size and build that I can take a couple of machete blows to the head – apparently – and I can act afterwards,” he said.

The machete wounds on PC Outten (PA)

Detective chief superintendent Richard Tucker, commander for the Waltham Forest and Newham area, called on the public to spare a thought for “extraordinary” police officers and said they should lend a hand if they are in trouble, rather than film on mobile phones.

Speaking of PC Outten, he said: “He did what I would hope the vast majority of police officers in the country would do.

“He had the training, he put that into action, notwithstanding he was very, very lucky that day and I’m very, very proud of Stuart. He did an amazing job to apprehend that individual.”

He added that there had been a rise in attacks on police in the capital, with 16 recorded every day.

But he said: “We are not going to arm our officers because it’s not necessary in terms of our demand.

Detective chief superintendent Richard Tucker speaks to the media at New Scotland Yard in London (PA)

“You will always come across people who are prepared to have a go at the police. I can never plan for every eventuality. We try to. We risk assess our big operations.

“The incident involving Stuart, that’s what we do every single day. We patrol. We stop cars that have not got insurance and we deal with people, and in a city of nine million people some of them are quite violent.

“So other than, I don’t know, having everyone carrying guns and everyone going out in fours, sometimes these incidents happen.”

A total of 5,900 police officers and staff were attacked in 2019, the Met’s figures show.

Some 45% involved some form of injury and of those, 10% amounted to either grievous bodily harm of grievous bodily harm with intent.

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