A police officer managed to taser his machete-wielding attacker despite suffering six wounds to the head that exposed his skull, a court has heard.
PC Stuart Outten, 29, managed to taser 56-year-old Muhammad Rodwan after he lashed out with a two foot-long rusty blade when he was pulled over for driving without insurance, jurors were told.
Rodwan, a handyman from Luton, denies attempted murder, an alternative charge of wounding with intent, and possession of a weapon.
The court heard today how Rodwan was driving a van, which he also lived in, on August 7 last year when he was pulled over by a police van just before 11pm.
Jurors at the Old Bailey were shown police body-worn camera footage in which Rodwan asked: “Are you going to knock me down? What do you want?”
Defence barrister Michael Turner QC said: “You appear to be agitated, cross, whatever. Why was that?”
Rodwan replied: “Because I’m always being stopped. So it’s one of those things, what do you want now?”
He said he was not aware at the time that the insurance on his van had expired 12 days earlier.
In the police footage, the defendant was instructed by police not to drive away.
Asked what he had been intending to do, Rodwan, who had smoked marijuana earlier on the day of the incident, said: “Drive away, drive away. Because I thought it’s just one of those circumstances where it was nothing again.”
Rodwan said he couldn’t recall punching PC Outten before he was arrested, and in the struggle, seven of his dreadlocks were pulled out by the officer, which was “extremely painful”, he said.
He added that the officer had grabbed his throat.
“I could not breathe at all. It felt like he cracked my throat, squeezed so hard it felt like it was popping,” Rodwan said, adding that we went to get his machete from his van but could not remember how many times he hit PC Outten with it before getting out.
“I was just trying to hit him to get him away from me,” he said, adding that he had used the blade to “try to scare him away from me”, and had no intention of killing the officer.
Despite his wound, PC Outten managed to taser Rodwan.
He said he had the machete because he had been using it on a gardening job in Gospel Oak, where he broke up brambles for compost. He had sharpened it three or four days before the incident.
“I was trying to defend myself, that was the only thing I had that I could have got hold of, that was the only thing close at hand,” he said.
Rodwan lived in his van, he told the court, where he kept all of his possessions, including work tools. He used a tyre as a makeshift table and kept a knife for cutting cheese, he said.
He denied he kept the machete to protect himself if his van was broken into.
In cross examination from prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC, Rodwan said he had not got angry.
He said: “I was a bit cheesed off, getting stopped all the time. As far as I was concerned, I hadn’t done anything.”
Asked why he had not just spoken about the issue to PC Outten, Rodwan said: “It did not get to that stage. The police officer was actually quite rude and aggressive to me.
“If he had approached me in a different manner, circumstances may have turned out quite differently. But it didn’t.”
Mr Rees suggested he had tried to escape after being caught driving an uninsured vehicle, but Rodwan denied this, saying he had a friend who lived within a five minutes’ walk and that he could have just slept in a tent in the forest.
The trial continues.