Friday 22 September 2017

Policeman shot by Raoul Moat 'was let down', inquest hears

Raoul Moat shot his ex-girlfriend, killed her new boyfriend and the next day blinded unarmed police officer David Rathband
Raoul Moat shot his ex-girlfriend, killed her new boyfriend and the next day blinded unarmed police officer David Rathband
Raoul Moat
Darren Rathband, twin brother of Pc David Rathband who was left blinded by gunman Raoul Moat had planned a new life in Australia in the weeks before he died, his twin brother said today. Photo: PA

The family of Pc David Rathband have said he was "let down by the people that could have prevented his death" as they attended his inquest, two years after he was found dead at his home.

The 43-year-old was left blind and fighting for his life after gunman Raoul Moat shot him twice while he was on the run in July 2010.

Speaking on the steps of Moot Hall, Newcastle, Mr Rathband's father Keith said: "The evidence that the coroner has been given identifies that David was let down by the people that could have prevented his death.

"The findings of the coroner may be a foregone conclusion to many. Our hope is he finds David's death was preventable in the circumstances."

Mr Rathband's sisters, Debbie Essery and Julie Reece, joined their father in expressing concerns about previous events.

Ms Essery said: "Northumbria Police investigated a complaint made by David's brother Darren.

"Into those issues the investigation found there was no case to be answered.

"As a family, we do not accept this. The findings of that investigation are contradictory to the evidence the coroner has been given."

Pc Rathband won national praise for his battle against disability and for setting up a charity to help other emergency workers injured in the line of their work.

He was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29 2012.

Mr Rathband, a father of two, was estranged from his wife Kath, and reportedly told her she would "look nice in black" when they spoke on the phone for the last time.

His twin Darren, a police officer in Australia, is not attending the inquest, and his widow Kath and son Ash walked in separately from the dead officer's father and sisters.

Before blasting the unarmed traffic officer, Moat shot and injured his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, and killed her boyfriend, 29-year-old Chris Brown.

Moat shot himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, during a standoff with police at the end of a week-long manhunt.

An inquest into Mr Brown's death concluded last month he was unlawfully killed.

 

 

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