A white van man who fractured a police officer’s skull with a machete in a ‘brutal and shocking’ attack has been jailed for 16 years.
Muslim convert Muhammad Rodwan, 56, fractured PC Stuart Outten’s skull when he pulled him over for driving without insurance.
PC Outten, 29, suffered six head wounds but bravely fired his Taser to disarm Rodwan.
Rodwan claimed he thought the traffic cop was going to shoot him when he pulled out a clump of his dreadlocks and the jury cleared him of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon.
He claimed he had the machete in his van because he used it to do gardening jobs.
Rodwan he was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The jury were unaware the handyman was was jailed for nine years for two counts of wounding with intent at Snaresbrook Crown Court, again armed with a machete in August 1997 when he was known as Rodney Reid.
One year earlier he had been living with a group of men in a flat in Walthamstow, east London, when he went beserk with the blade and hacked at two of his room mates.
He nearly chopped off the hand of the men, who fled by jumping out of a window, and seriously injured the other.
In 1982 he was jailed for three years for rape when he was 19.
Mrs Justice Carr told short-haired Rodwan: ‘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.’
PC Outten told how he was on duty in a van with his colleague PC Helen Brooks when they pulled over Rodwan’s vehicle on Leyton High Road, east London.
He stopped the old LGV van because Rodwan had no insurance, but the driver then made as if to pull away.
When the officer stood in the way of the door Rodwan slammed it on his leg.
‘The defendant has then punched me twice,’ the officer said.
‘He seemed angry – his eyebrows were furrowed, face distorted and his whole-body temperament was somebody was angry at myself.’
A scuffle started and the officer tore out a hand full of Rodwan’s dreadlocks as he tried to restrain him.
‘I then started feeling something sharp being smacked against my head,’ the officer said.
‘Once this blows had happened, I then realised my head was becoming very wet very quickly. Once I realised it was not the weather.
‘I then focused on what I was getting hit with. It was a rusty two-foot-long machete.
‘As soon as I stepped back from the van he brought himself out of the van towards me. The machete was in his right hand.
‘He was holding it over his right shoulder. I thought he was going to try to kill me with it. As I was stepping away I have drawn my Taser with my right hand.
‘I believe I gave the command of: “Police with Taser”. It is to remind the person you are dealing with there is a Taser.
‘Once I have fired the first shot I have then stumbled and fallen back. The defendant was still approaching and closing in on me. I was focusing on aiming the Taser at a different section of body and firing again to save my own life.’
After the second shot Rodwan froze and the officer was later treated by paramedics.
PC Outten said he recalled ‘only being able to focus on staying alive’ as he was being bandaged.
Rodwan told the court: ‘I am a black man, I get stopped all the time. I did not even see the police van.
‘I was a bit cheesed off about getting stopped, although at the time as far as I knew I had not done anything wrong.’
He added: ‘The police officer was actually quite rude and aggressive to me.
‘If he had approached me in a different manner, probably the circumstances would have turned out quite differently, but he didn’t.
‘The police came to the van, manhandled me and then tried to strangle me.
‘I could not think of anything else to do. I did what I could at that time. I was trying to defend myself. That was the only thing that was close to hand.’
When he was taken into custody, he told police officers: ‘My life is worth more than his life.’
Asked about the remark Rodwan said: ‘To me my life is worth more than his life. I am sure you would think your life was worth more than mine.’
PC Outten wanted to go back to work the next day and hopes to be back on the beat shortly.
He said in his impact statement: ‘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’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.’
Rodwan, of Luton, Beds, denied and was cleared of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon. He was convicted of wounding with intent and given an extended setence of 16 years with a further three years parole, at least two thirds to be served.
MEMO: NOT FOR PUBLICATION
Age: 56 – DOB: 5 June 1963.