A machete-wielding motorist who left a policeman with six head wounds and a fractured skull allegedly told officers "my life is worth more than his life", a court heard.

Muhammad Rodwan, slashed 29-year-old PC Stuart Outten with a foot-long blade in August after a routine traffic stop went terrifyingly wrong, the Old Bailey was told.

The 'ferocious and savage' attack also left the officer with an arm wound and fractured fingers, the court heard.

PC Outten was attacked by handyman Rodwan when he tried to stop him driving his van away after pulling him over in Leyton, east London, to check he was insured.

He managed to bring down his attacker with his Taser while bleeding heavily, but Rodwan later said he acted in self defence after being grabbed by the throat, the jury heard.

Today, Rodwan, 56, sat in the dock at the Old Bailey where he entered not guilty pleas to one charge of attempted murder and another of possessing a machete.

He was also charged with wounding with intent and pleaded not guilty.

Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, told the jury about how Rodwan's spoke to police while in custody - including to Inspector Singh and in an interview conducted by PC Lennon.

He said: "The defendant was asked whether he had any representations to make, to which he replied 'Officer attacked me first by grabbing my throat.' "When DC Lennon put the allegation of attempted murder to the defendant he replied 'This officer attacked me and I defended myself.' "When the police sergeant was explaining to the defendant the reasons for him being remanded in custody, the defendant said 'My life is worth more than his life.'"

Opening Rodwan's trial, Mr Rees QC said: "This case concerns, what the prosecution say, was a savage machete attack that was carried out by the defendant on a police constable during what should have been a routine stop of the defendant's white van to investigate whether he was properly insured to drive that van.

"As a result of the attack, Stuart Outten, the police constable in question, suffered six deep wounds to the head with associated multiple fractures of the skull.

"He also suffered two wounds to the lower part of his right arm with multiple fractures of the fingers of his right hand.

"Despite the ferocity of the attack, and the seriousness of the wounds he had already

received, PC Outten somehow managed to discharge his Taser weapon which disabled

the defendant and brought the attack to an end.

"The prosecution suggests that had he not managed to fire his Taser, his injuries could have been far worse and potentially fatal."

He continued: "The prosecution allege that this is a case of attempted murder, in that at the time of the machete attack, the defendant was intending to kill PC Outten.

"For his part, the defendant doesn't dispute that he struck PC Outten with the machete, but he indicated during the interview that followed his arrest that he was acting in self-defence because, to use his words, 'the officer attacked me.'"

The shocking incident happened at around midnight between August 7 and 8 last year when PC Outten and a colleague, PC Helen Brooks, pulled Rodwan over."

Mr Rees QC told the jury: "PC Brooks got out of the police van and approached the passenger side window of the defendant's van and signalled to him to join her on the pavement.

"PC Brooks noticed that the window was closed and the defendant was shouting.

"Rather than engaging with PC Brooks, the defendant drove off and so she quickly returned to the police van.

"PC Outten drove after the defendant's van. As he was broadcasting over his personal radio that a vehicle was making off, he had caught up with the defendant's van which was not travelling very fast.

"PC Brooks stepped out onto the pavement and walked towards the defendant's van. As she did so, the defendant got out of his van and stood in front of the police vehicle. He was plainly irritated and asked PC Outten what he wanted.

"PC Outten drove the police vehicle around the defendant and his van, parking it in front of the defendant's van to prevent the defendant driving off again. As he performed this manoeuvre, the defendant said to PC Outten, 'Are you going to knock me down?' "Meanwhile, PC Brooks asked the defendant to join her on the pavement. The defendant approached PC Brooks and asked her 'What do you want?' "She replied that she didn't believe he had insurance for his vehicle, at which point the defendant walked back towards his van saying 'Think what you want to think, so what.' PC Brooks informed him 'You are not going.' "The defendant asked PC Outten what he wanted and PC Outten replied 'You've got no insurance on your vehicle, sir.' "The defendant asked PC Outten to move away and PC Outten asked him where he was going. PC Outten then politely asked the defendant to join him on the pavement, at which point the defendant opened the driver's door and got into the driver's seat of the vehicle.

"Had the defendant simply complied with the officer's reasonable request then none of what was to follow would have happened.

Mr Rees continued: "PC Outten informed the defendant that he was not driving away - he believed he was committing the offence of driving without insurance - and went to get hold of his right arm as the defendant tried to shut the van door.

"The defendant then lashed out with his right hand towards PC Outten on a number of occasions while still telling him to move away.

"PC Brooks recalls that the defendant kicked PC Outten to the chest. She can be heard to say 'Don't you dare' to the defendant and PC Outten asked her to get more units.

"Matters escalated. PC Outten and PC Brooks tried to get hold of the defendant. PC Brooks took hold of the hood on the defendant's parka coat and PC Outten told the defendant to 'get out of the f***ing car' as he grabbed him.

"PC Outten recalls using his left hand to grab the defendant's belt and his right hand to grab the defendant's dreadlocks, a few of which came away in his hands.

"PC Outten informed the defendant that he was under arrest for assaulting police and cautioned him.

"PC Outten then moved his left hand to the defendant's throat in order to incapacitate him so he could get him out of the van to handcuff him. He told the defendant to 'stop fighting, stop resisting.' "The defendant can be heard on the body worn video recordings making some guttural sounds before he started to hack at PC Outten with a machete he had retrieved from somewhere inside the van.

"The blows are not seen on the body worn camera recordings, but we suggest there are at least four audible chopping blows before PC Outten can be heard to call out 'Machete, machete' as he retreated from the driver's door while still facing the defendant. PC Brooks immediately backed away.

"PC Outten reached for his Taser and pointed it at the defendant, who sprang out of the van and pursued the officer while aiming further blows at him with the machete.

"Two members of the public, who were watching events at street level, saw the defendant attacking PC Outten with the machete after he had exited his van.

"Another eye-witness, who was watching from a first floor flat overlooking the scene, saw the defendant run towards PC Outten and strike him on the arm with the machete.

"Despite the nature of the attack, PC Outten managed to retain and operate his Taser. The first shot failed to incapacitate the defendant, but PC Outten somehow managed to fire a second shot.

"As he was falling to the ground and the defendant was launching himself at the officer, plainly aiming a further blow with the machete at his head.

"This second shot did hit the target and the defendant fell to the ground and was rendered immobile by the subsequent electrical discharge.

"PC Brooks went towards the defendant. She tried and failed to handcuff him but managed to pick up the machete and throw it to one side before later placing it in the back of a police van.

"Despite bleeding heavily from his head wounds, PC Outten continued to activate the Taser when necessary to keep the defendant under control."

Rodwan, of Luton, Bedfordshire, denies attempted murder, wounding with intent, and having an offensive weapon.

The trial continues.