Rathband widow will miss service
The widow of blinded Pc David Rathband will not attend a cathedral service organised by his twin brother which is taking place on Saturday, she has said.
Kath Rathband issued a statement which said she will be at the funeral a week later and a memorial service two days later in Newcastle.
But she will not be at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle for the noon service, which has been arranged by Darren Rathband, 44.
In a statement issued for her by Northumbria Police, the mother-of-two said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Northumbria Police for the care and support they have given and continue to give to myself, Ash and Mia during this incredibly difficult time.
"I'd also like to thank all the well-wishers for their kind words, from which I have gained tremendous strength.
"There is to be a service on Saturday March 10, at which I will not be present. However, I will be attending my husband David's funeral service, which will be held in Stafford. I will then be taking part in a police memorial service which will be held at 2pm on Monday March 19 at St Nicholas Cathedral.
"Family, friends and colleagues can gather to celebrate the many happy memories we all have of the 12 years spent as a family in the North East of England. In these extremely difficult times for myself and our children, we want to be able to grieve in private and out of the media spotlight and we request that everyone respects this."
The two separate cathedral ceremonies were organised for different parts of Pc Rathband's family, relatives revealed last week.
The 44-year-old, blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on March 2. The father of Mia, 13, and Ashley, 19, was understood to be heartbroken by the end of his marriage to wife Kath.
His brother Darren arranged Saturday's service at St Nicholas' Cathedral and a second, organised by Northumbria Police, will happen at the same venue nine days later.