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Pc shot by Moat describes 'vision'

The policeman shot by fugitive Raoul Moat has told how a vision of his children saved his life.

Pc David Rathband said he knew he was at risk of bleeding to death when he was blasted in the face as he sat unarmed in his patrol car last month.

Slumped in the footwell of the Northumbria Police Volvo T5, the father of two said he felt his life slipping away as blood poured from his wounds.

As Moat left him for dead, he was able to call for help using his police radio. It was then that a vision of his son Ashley and daughter Mia filled his mind. They began to speak and Ashley, 17, reached out to grab hold of his father to stop him slipping away.

Pc Rathband has been left completely blind despite the best efforts of surgeons at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary to save the sight in his remaining left eye. His right eye was lost completely when he was shot.

In an emotional interview on ITV's Tonight programme, he spoke of his determination to live as full a life as possible despite his handicap. And his family describe their love for the hero Pc, and anger for Moat.

Former nightclub doorman Moat, 37, sparked a huge manhunt after shooting his ex-lover Sam Stobbart, 22, in Birtley, Gateshead, and killing her new boyfriend Chris Brown. The next day, he targeted Pc Rathband, who was on static patrol parked by a concrete wall on an A1 roundabout in Newcastle.

Pc Rathband described the terrifying attack. Speaking to ITV Tonight's Fiona Foster, he said: "(Moat) just darted across and his hands were up, and I knew straight away he'd got a gun.

"But I hadn't seen the gun because of him scuttling across the wall and I just stared at him and then the next thing I remember seeing is him just standing by the window just completely... there was no emotion; it was just as if he'd frozen. And I just remember the big flash from the gun. And it just lit up the whole of my face. And it pushed me down into the footwell because of the force of the gun."

The interview will be shown in full on In The Line of Fire: Tonight on ITV1 at 7.30pm on Thursday August 5.

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