A widow whose police officer husband was killed in the line of duty has said a machete attack on a male officer in England will be “life changing” for him and his family.

Christine Fulton was 34 and nursing a seven-month old when her husband PC Lewis Fulton went to work in June 1994.

But the 28-year-old never came home after being fatally stabbed by schizophrenic Philip McFadden, who had stopped taking his medication.

Talking of the frenzied stabbing on the unnamed police officer in east London in the early hours of yesterday morning, Christine told the Evening Times that she never thought she would ever have to deal with the loss of her husband.


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She said: “You were always aware that it was a dangerous job. I expected him to be beaten up and occasionally he had a couple of broken fingers over the years.

“I honestly never thought about him being stabbed. I don’t think it ever occurred to me.

“[Lewis] was a big lad, he was 6 ft 5 and in my eyes he was invincible. He had a ten years police experience [and] he knew what he was doing but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The London patrol officer, who is in his 30s, was stabbed in his head and body after trying to stop a van suspected to be uninsured in Leyton at around midnight on Thursday.

The vehicle’s 56-year-old driver was Tasered by the officer in the “sudden and brutal” assault which lasted just seconds, Scotland Yard said.

The officer, who has around a decade of police experience, was treated by colleagues and paramedics as his uniform lay next to him on the ground.

Witnesses told of hearing the officer scream and of seeing him lying in a pool of blood after being hit with the “foot long” blade.

The driver, who did not require hospital treatment, has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Despite being trained rigorously, police officers can’t anticipate everything, said Christine, who has an MBE for her work helping bereaved families of police officers after launching her charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS) in 2003.

“They just never know from day to day what they’re going to be facing and I doubt if anything could have prepared [him] for a machete attack,” she said.

“Stab proof vests don’t cover the entire body and you can’t protect yourself against that sort of attack.

“You can prepare for scenarios but when it comes to it, every situation is different.”


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Metropolitan police chiefs said yesterday the officer is expected to make a full recovery, but the attack will leave more than physical scars for the victim and his loved ones, according to Christine.

She said: “It’s going to be life changing because his injuries will not only affect him, they will affect his whole family.

“They will have worried about him before but now they have seen him first hand [experience this] and they know that it will and can happen to them. It’s just terrifying for them.”

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.

Attacks on officers have risen sharply in Scotland with numbers hitting 1685 in the 12 months prior to July 2019 - a 52% increase since 2013.