A police officer dubbed ‘Britain’s hardest cop’ has revealed how he proposed to his girlfriend after surviving a brutal machete assault – as his attacker was jailed for 16 years today.
Muhammad Rodwan, 56, launched a ferocious assault on PC Stuart Outten, 29, with a 2ft-long rusty blade in August after the officer stopped his uninsured van.
Shocking footage from the officer’s body-worn camera shows him fighting for his life after Rodwan leapt on him, stabbing him repeatedly and fracturing his skull.
His long-term partner Lizzie Mathews was among several officers to answer his calls for help as he laid injured in the road before being rushed to hospital for surgery.
He had text Ms Matthews just an hour before to say ‘I’m off to cause trouble. Stay safe my love,’ later telling her he had got into ‘more trouble’ than he bargained for.
PC Outten revealed today that the couple had got engaged during a trip to New York in October, after he popped the question at the top of the Freedom Tower.
Muhammad Rodwan (left), fractured the skull of PC Stuart Outten (shown lying on the ground injured, right) when he pulled him over for driving without insurance
Pictured: The machete used by Rodwan to fracture PC Stuart Outten’s skull during a sustained assault in east London
He told the Evening Standard: ‘After everything Lizzie has been through, it’s the least I could do. She said “yes” thankfully and we celebrated at the observation deck.
‘We haven’t set a date but think we’ll get married in a couple years as we’d like to get a house first. Got to get the priorities straight.’
PC Outten had earlier told a court how he only managed to survive the attack by firing his Taser twice as he fell to the ground, as Rodwan came ‘in for the kill’.
Today at the Old Bailey, Rodwan smirked at the judge as he was jailed for 16 years for the attack, with a further three years on extended licence.
Sentencing, Mrs Justice Carr told him: ‘This was a brutal and shocking attack with a machete on a police officer carrying out his duties during what should have been a routine stop of your van to investigate whether you were properly insured.
‘I detect not a shred of remorse or insight on your part, but rather a belligerent arrogance, typified by your comment when charged that your ‘life was worth more’ than that of PC Outten.’
Yesterday, there was fury as Rodwan was cleared of attempted murder and only convicted of wounding after it emerged that jurors were not told of his violent past.
It can now be revealed that he is a convicted rapist who has previously been jailed for carrying out an unprovoked machete attack on two other men.
The handyman – who was previously known as Rodney Reid and lived in his van – was jailed for nine years in 1997 for wounding two men in his flat in east London.
Both victims needed surgery following the attack in 1996, with one having almost had his hand chopped off.
In addition, Rodwan had previously been jailed for three years for rape in 1983.
Video captured Rodwan swinging the blade at PC Stuart Outten’s head, fracturing his skull and leaving him with six severe head wounds
PC Outten is shown struggling to his feet (left) after firing off his Taser and incapacitating his attacker Rodwan (right)
Rodwan is pictured arguing with officers moments before he reaches into his van and pulls out a machete
The police officer is seen heroically firing off his Taser as Rodwan swings the machete during the violent struggle
But jurors at the Old Bailey were not told about what prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC described as the ‘strikingly similar’ machete attack, which he said demonstrated Rodwan’s propensity for gratuitous violence.
Mrs Justice Carr ruled his past offending was inadmissible due to the passage of time, despite jurors asking if he had previous convictions.
Yesterday, Rodwan was convicted of a lesser offence of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Friends and relatives of PC Outten wept in the public gallery as jurors went on to clear Rodwan of possessing an offensive weapon after he claimed he had a machete for gardening jobs.
The verdict, which comes at a time of rising attacks on police, sparked fury and disbelief among officers yesterday.
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said: ‘This incident was an attempted murder.
PC Outten suffered six severe head wounds (left, and right, after recovery) and a court heard he could have died had he not bravely fired off his Taser in a bid to disarm Rodwan
Bleeding heavily from deep gashes to the head, broken fingers and a wound to the arm, PC Outten shouted at a passerby to pass his radio so he could call for help
Shown left are the injuries suffered by PC Outten, while a photograph from inside Rodwan’s van shows dreadlocks lying on the floor
PC Outten is pictured recovering in hospital (left), while another image shows defensive wounds to his arm (right)
Had PC Outten not utilised the Taser when he did… it would have been fatal.
‘My colleagues are facing these kinds of incidents on a daily basis. I am saddened by the verdict.’
PC Outten, who is desperate to get back on patrol, said he bore no hatred towards his assailant, despite his injuries.
In an interview before the verdict, he said: ‘He did what he did, he’s now paying the price for it.’
PC Outten was on duty on August 7 last year in Leyton, east London, when a spot check revealed a passing van did not have insurance. His colleague’s body camera also recorded the dramatic scenes that followed.
PC Outten recalled: ‘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… this might be it.’
Rodwan told police: ‘My life is worth more than his life.’
There has been a rise in attacks on officers in the capital, with 16 recorded every day.