A police officer has spoken about the terrifying moments he fought for his life as he was savagely attacked with a machete following a routine traffic stop.

Muhammad Rodwan, 56, slashed PC Stuart Outten with the foot-long blade several times - leaving him with six deep cuts to his head and a fractured skull and fingers.

Despite bleeding heavily, the officer managed to bring down Rodwan with a Taser as he ran towards him swinging the weapon.

The shocking incident happened after PC Outten and colleague PC Helen Brooks pulled over the handyman to check his van was insured in Leyton, east London in August.

PC Outten told the Old Bailey jury: “As I’m trying to pull him out of the van I started feeling something sharp being smacked against my head.

“Initially I didn’t see, I was aware something was hitting me on the head but I was focusing on trying to get a hold on the suspect and remove him from the van.

“They felt as if they were as hard as someone could be delivered with the space within the van - a full swing could make more connection.

“Once these blows has happened I noticed that my head was getting very wet, very quickly. Once I realised that my head was getting wet. I began to focus on what I was being hit with. It was a rusty, two-foot-long machete.

“The machete was in his right hand. As he exited the van he was holding it above his right shoulder.

“I thought he would try to kill me with it. As I had been stepping back away I had drawn my taser with my right hand.

“I fired the Taser at the defendant as he was running toward me swinging a machete and closing the distance between us.

“It did it to incapacitate him and effect the arrest I intended to earlier and to stop his from attacking me with the machete and killing me.

“He carried on coming towards he continued trying to hit me with the machete showing no behavioural change at all.

“I can’t recall if I received any further blows at that point I was too busy concentrating on moving backwards and firing the Taser.

“I was on my feet while I fired the first shot. While I fired the first shot I then stumbled and started falling backwards. He was till approaching and closing in on me swinging the machete. I was focusing on aiming the taser at a different section of the body and firing again.

“I was on the floor pretty much on my back [when I fired the second shot]. I did it to stop myself being attacked with a machete and to save my own life."

He added: "As soon as the trigger was pulled again I could see the barbs impact the defendant and his body has almost frozen.

"All body movements had stopped and his body has fallen next to me. I believe he was in a standing position but with his right arm up and machete still in his hand.”

Earlier he told the court of Rodwan's aggressiveness the minute he was puled over and after getting out, jumped back in and tried to close the door.

He said: " “At that time he was looking forward so not looking at me. Once the door bounced off my leg the gentleman’s attention has then turned to me as the object blocking.

“The defendant has then punched me twice. He was angry, aggressive. He had an angry distorted face, eyebrows furrowed. His whole temperament was one of somebody being angry at myself.

“The punches connected to my face. They hurt but it wasn’t enough to debilitate of destabilise me.

“As he’s punched me he’s then turned so his back is now facing the steering wheel and he’s tried to go into the back between the driver’s seat and the side wall of the van. As far as I knew he was trying to escape from me.

“I informed him he was under arrest for assaulting police and cautioned him.

“While I’m cautioning the male he’s intending to climb in the back of his van so I grabbed him by the belt with my left hand and his long dreadlocks with my right hand.

“My belief was that he was trying to affect an escape or grab something from the van to enable him to escape.

“As I’m pulling by his hair and belt the dreadlocks that were in my hand had come away from his head.”

The dreadlocks, which had been put in an evidence bag, were shown to the court.

PC Outten continued: “Once he had been pulled back from the van I then put my left hand round his neck.

“He was making a rasping noise. He hit my hand with his, breaking my grip."

It was then that he grabbed the machete, the court was told.

But the court was also told how before going on patrol, PC Outten had texted his partner, a fellow police officer, to say ‘Right, I’m off to cause trouble. Stay safe my love and I’ll chat when I can.’

When asked about what he meant in the message, he told the jury: “I was off to take some emergency calls. Get some McDonalds through the night shift. See what comes of the night go searching for people who are up to no good and hopefully get back.

“Off to go get some stop and searches, give some tickets, just be a police presence in the night.”

Rodwan, of Luton, Bedfordshire, denies attempted murder, wounding with intent to cause previous bodily harm, and possession of an offensive weapon.

He claims he was acting in self defence after being throttled by PC Outten and allegedly told police officers “my life is worth more than his” in an interview while in custody.

The trial continues.