PC Shot By Raoul Moat Found Dead At Home

David Rathband, the policeman shot and blinded by Raoul Moat, has been found dead at his home in Northumberland.

David and his wife Katherine

The body of PC Rathband was discovered by police at his home in Blyth on Wednesday night after officers received a report of concern for his welfare.

He was declared dead at the scene, Northumbria Police said.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “At around 7pm officers received a report of concern for the welfare of PC David Rathband at his home in Blyth.

“Officers attended the scene alongside the ambulance service and he was found inside. He was declared dead at the scene.”

Chief Constable Sue Sim said: “I am deeply saddened to have to confirm the death of PC David Rathband and my thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

“In July 2010, his life changed forever when he was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat.

“David showed outstanding bravery in what was a terrifying situation.

“He was a dedicated officer who acted in the best traditions of the police service.”

A police spokesman said no one else was being sought in connection with the incident.

PC Rathband’s brother Darren, who lives in Australia, posted a message on Twitter saying he was returning to Britain.

“On way back to the UK, to be at my brothers side. RIP Police Constable 190 David John Rathband Please support blue lamp foundation,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “David was an extrordinarily brave man and after his horrific injuries he did an enormous amount for charities for other injured police officers and families who had lost police officers in the line of duty.”

David Rathband
A photo of David Rathband taken by his brother Darren


Home Secretary Theresa May also paid tribute, saying: “I had the privilege of meeting PC David Rathband. He was a brave and fine policeman. My thoughts are with his family.”

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “This is deeply sad news of the loss of a very brave police officer.

“PC Rathband showed extraordinary bravery and determination both during the horrific events in the summer of 2010, and afterwards in overcoming the attack to set up his charity to help others.”

PC Rathband flew back home last weekend after spending time with Darren in Australia where he had surgery to remove pieces of shrapnel from his face.

In the days leading up to his death, some of his followers on Twitter had become increasingly concerned about messages he had posted on the social networking site.

The 44-year-old officer was shot twice on July 4, 2010, as he sat unarmed in his patrol car.

PC Rathband, who joined the Northumbria force in 2000, lost his vision in both eyes after being shot at close range during the manhunt for Moat.

The fugitive had shot and injured his former partner Sam Stobbart and killed her new boyfriend Chris Brown.

In September, just before the start of the inquest into Moat’s death, PC Rathband issued a statement saying he was to “live separately from his wife and family”.

But that statement stressed the move was “purely for David’s rehabilitation and so that he can ultimately continue to support his family”.

It said the move had nothing to do with his arrest on suspicion of assault and stressed “David and Kath are very much still a married couple who love each other”.

PC Rathband was arrested in August last year after officers were called to an incident at his home in Cramlington, Northumberland.

He was understood to have been released shortly after police arrived.

Hailed for his charity work in the wake of his injuries, PC Rathband announced on Twitter in November that he and his wife Kath were separating permanently.

In the wake of his attack, PC Rathband launched the Blue Lamp Foundation, to help emergency service staff injured in the line of duty.

In a statement on its website, the charity said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of David Rathband.

“Since being shot in July 2010, David struggled to come to terms with his horrific injuries and the traumatic effect they had on him and his family and friends.

“David’s legacy will live on in the form of the Blue Lamp Foundation, which bears his name.”

Writer Tony Parsons tweeted: “PC David Rathband did not commit suicide – he was murdered by Raoul Moat as surely as if he had left him dead by the side of that road. RIP.”