'Britain's hardest cop' is honoured for his bravery

‘Britain’s hardest cop’ who fought off crazed machete attacker single-handedly despite being slashed in the head six times is honoured for his bravery

  • Stuart Outten was repeatedly struck on head with blade by Muhammad Rodwan
  • The officer stopped the white van for having no insurance in Leyton, east London
  • The Metropolitan Police officer managed to Taser Rodwan, who fell to pavement
  • PC Outten – dubbed ‘Britain’s hardest cop’ – commended by Dame Cressida Dick

‘Britain’s hardest cop’ who single-handedly fought off a fierce machete attacker has been honoured for his bravery.

PC Stuart Outten was repeatedly struck over the head with a 2ft blade after stopping Muhammad Rodwan’s van for having no insurance in Leyton, London, on August 7 last year.

Despite bleeding heavily from six deep gashes to the head and arm, the Met Police officer managed to Taser Rodwan, who fell to the ground and was detained.

PC Outten, who has been dubbed ‘Britain’s hardest cop’, was one of three officers commended by Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick for their efforts at a ceremony at New Scotland Yard.

PC Stuart Outten (pictured with Dame Cressida Dick) was struck over the head with a 2ft blade after stopping Muhammad Rodwan’s white van for having no insurance in Leyton, east London

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

The officer said: ‘I will never forget what happened that night but I would never let it stop me doing the job I love.

‘Luckily my training kicked in and thankfully the Taser was effective the second time.

‘I have had a huge amount of support both internally and from members of the public and I am honoured to have now received this commendation – it means a huge amount.’

In January, Rodwan was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for 16 years.

Video captured Rodwan swinging the blade at PC Stuart Outten’s head, fracturing his skull and leaving him with six severe head wounds

Shown left are the injuries suffered by PC Outten, while a photograph from inside Rodwan’s van shows dreadlocks lying on the floor

Acting North East BCU commander Superintendent Waheed Khan said: ‘This was a frenzied and brutal attack on an officer who demonstrated incredible bravery and professionalism on the night of the incident.

‘His determination in returning to work has been remarkable and London is lucky he is back on our streets. He is a truly deserving recipient of this award.’

Other officers commended by the commissioner include former detective constable Steve Harvey, who pursued an armed suspect in 1982 in Peckham, London, and Detective Constable Natasha Holing, who fought her way through a smoke-filled building to evacuate a number of residents in Norbury, in the south west of the city, in 2018.

The dramatic scene where PC Outten was knifed in Leyton, London, and fellow officers pin down the suspect and then arrest him on suspicion of grievous bodily harm 

The officer’s blood can be seen smothered across the road as the police pin down his attacker

A number of other awards were also handed out at the ceremony, including to PC Allan Parker, who received the Royal Humane Society silver medal and the police medal for preventing a distressed 16-year-old stepping out into rush hour traffic in July 2018.

Simon Geary and Callum White were awarded the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) police public bravery award gold medals, while Oliver Tonkin and Sharon Bettesworth received NPCC police bravery award certificates of commendation.

Dame Cressida said: ‘I am extremely proud to commend these officers and members of the public who acted without a thought for their own safety in order to protect others.

‘Their quick thinking, bravery and professionalism is outstanding and I thank them for their selfless actions.’

‘Britain’s hardest cop’: ‘When he hit me with the machete, I knew I was fighting for my life’

PC Outten is pictured recovering in hospital (left), while another image shows defensive wounds to his arm (right)

PC Outten said he counted himself ‘very lucky’ to survive, saying ‘thankfully’ his head was hard enough to withstand the onslaught.

He said: ‘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.

‘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.

‘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.’

Of his attacker, he 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.’

Dismissing the ‘hardest cop’ title he was given by the press, PC Outten said: ‘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.’

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