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Man accused of attempting to murder policeman remanded

Pc Stuart Outten was badly injured in an incident in Leyton, east London, just after midnight on Thursday.

Court artist sketch of Muhammad Rodwan appearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)
Court artist sketch of Muhammad Rodwan appearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

By Henry Vaughan, PA

A police officer who was attacked with a machete has been named, as the man accused of trying to kill him appeared in court.

Muhammad Rodwan, 56, is charged with the attempted murder of Pc Stuart Outten, 28, and possession of an offensive weapon following the incident in Leyton, east London, just after midnight on Thursday.

The patrol officer was attacked after he tried to stop a van suspected of having no insurance.

He managed to Taser his attacker despite being slashed in the head and hand in an incident which lasted just seconds.

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Pc Stuart Outten (Met Police/P{A)

In a statement, the victim’s family said: “We are incredibly proud of the bravery Stuart showed during the incident.

“Although there are risks associated with his job, we would never have expected something like this to happen.”

Pc Outten, who has around a decade of police experience, was treated by colleagues and paramedics in Leyton High Road before being taken to hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

He was treated for a wound to the side of his head, requiring stitches, and needs an operation to a hand injury he suffered while trying to fend off the attack.

Rodwan, from Luton, appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Friday morning, wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit.

He was brought into the dock wearing handcuffs before speaking to confirm his name, date of birth, that he has no address, and that his nationality is British.

Rodwan showed no emotion as he sat staring straight ahead during the brief hearing, which lasted around four minutes.

District Crown prosecutor Varinder Hayre said he is accused of carrying out a “completely unprovoked, repeated and brutal attack with a machete on a police officer who was simply conducting his police officer duties on that day”.

There was no application for bail and Deputy District Judge Adrian Turner remanded Rodwan in custody until his next appearance at the Old Bailey on September 6.

The incident prompted outrage from policing leaders and politicians, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan branding it a “sickening attack”.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said: “Police officers across London are out there every day at risk protecting the public – and sadly, yet again, a Metropolitan Police officer has suffered a severe injury on duty.

“Enough is enough. Police officers should be going home at the end of their shifts. Not to hospital.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “Absolutely horrified by the shocking stabbing of one of our brave police officers in Leyton.

“His courage in the face of danger shows how police put their lives on the line to protect us every day. I wish the officer a full recovery & my thoughts are with him.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his “sympathies” to Pc Outten, adding: “What this underscores for me is the bravery of our police, people who actually go towards danger to keep us safer.”

The most recent police recorded crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics show there were more than 30,000 assaults on officers in England and Wales in 2018/19.

Some 20,578 were crimes of “assault without injury on a constable” – up 13% from the previous year – while 10,399 were crimes of “assault with injury on a constable”, an increase of 27% from the previous year.

PA

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