Family seeks justice for PC shot by Raoul Moat

FIVE years since gunman Raoul Moat ran amok, the family of the police officer he shot and blinded are still waiting for justice, his grieving twin brother has said.

David Rathband, left, was shot by Raoul Moat
David Rathband, left, was shot by Raoul Moat

On 4 July 2010, PC David Rathband was finishing his shift in a marked patrol car when he was blasted twice by the shotgun-wielding maniac who had declared war on police minutes before.

He clung on for life but lost the sight in both eyes after being peppered with hundreds of shotgun pellets in the face.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

PC Rathband, a traffic officer who loved his job, poured himself into starting the Blue Lamp Foundation to help injured 999 workers, wrote a book about his experiences and became a national figure. But his marriage ended and his life fell apart as he struggled to cope with the devastating consequences of losing his sight in such a traumatic way.

The 44-year-old father-of-two killed himself at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, in 2012.

Family members are in the process of taking legal action against his police-force employer, and his twin Darren said they were still “fighting for acknowledgement that David was let down”.

It has previously been said that the force did not do enough to warn staff that Moat had told a 999 call-handler he was hunting for officers on the night PC Rathband was shot.

Northumbria Police said the case will go to court in the New Year.

Darren, who lives in Australia, said on the eve of the anniversary: “As a family we obviously reflect on past events that had such a tragic outcome for David.

“It means we understand more than most the risks the emergency services, especially police, are asked to face on a daily basis.

“The current dangers officers face with the increase of terrorist acts is something very pertinent following the recent tragic events in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. Sadly, David will not be the last police officer injured in the line of duty; three have been shot and numerous officers have been hurt in the UK since 2010.”

Moat was wanted after shooting his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and murdering her new love Chris Brown in Birtley, Gateshead, the night before.

After leaving PC Rathband for dead at a roundabout in Newcastle, he hid in Rothbury, Northumberland, for days, sparking the biggest police manhunt in years. Moat was finally cornered and shot himself during a stand-off in the early hours of 10 July, with the media closely following events from behind a police cordon.

Famously, footballer Paul Gascoigne turned up in Rothbury trying to help the situation, claiming he knew the former bouncer.

Moat’s accomplices Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan were jailed for a minimum of 40 and 20 years respectively in 2012.