Blinded police officer found dead at home

Pc David Rathband.
Pc David Rathband.
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THE police officer blinded when shot by fugitive Raoul Moat in 2010 has been found dead.

Pc David Rathband, who was shot in the face when he was in a patrol car on July 3, 2010, was found at his home in Blyth on Wednesday, February 29, at around 7pm.

The 44-year-old had been sitting in a patrol car in the west end of Newcastle when he was informed there was an armed gunman on the run.

The next thing he knew Moat walked up to the car and shot him in the face.

Moat then went on the run and after a week of hiding took his own life in the Northumberland town of Rothbury after a six-hour stand-off with police.

Since that incident, Pc Rathband has tried to rebuild his life and come to terms with living without his sight, however concerns were raised about his well being over the past few days following comments he made on social network sites.

The father of two launched his own charity, the Blue Lamp Foundation, to raise funds for emergency service workers who are injured at work.

And despite his disability he still took part in a number of gruelling fundraising events, including the 2011 London Marathon.

Raul Moat could never be brought to justice for the crimes he committed, including the injuries to the officer, the shooting of his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and the murder of her new boyfriend Chris Brown.

However Moat’s two accomplices, Karl Ness, of Dudley in North Tyneside, and Qhuram Alam, of Blyth, were both given life sentences for their part in the shootings and helping the gunman evade the police, which took place over seven days in July almost 18 months ago.