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Blinded officer separates from wife

The police officer blinded by gunman Raoul Moat is to live separately from his wife and family, his spokeswoman has said.

In a statement, father-of-two Pc David Rathband said he still loves his wife, Kath, and their separation "is purely for David's rehabilitation and so that he can ultimately continue to support his family".

He said the move has nothing to do with his recent arrest on suspicion of assault.

The statement said: "As part of David's continued rehabilitation and so that he can come to terms with his horrific injuries and learn to live independently, he is starting a rehabilitation programme on Monday which means he will be living separately from Kath and his family.

"David and Kath are very much still a married couple who love each other and who have two children to consider and their separation is purely for David's rehabilitation and so that he can ultimately continue to support his family.

"This decision is in no way connected to David's arrest and no formal allegations have been made and both David and Kath consider this matter closed."

Pc Rathband was arrested last month after officers were called to an incident at his home in Cramlington, Northumberland. He was understood to have been released shortly after police arrived.

The 43-year-old was shot twice on July 4 last year as he sat unarmed in his patrol car.

The officer, who joined the Northumbria force in 2000, lost vision in both eyes after being shot at close range during the manhunt for fugitive Moat, who shot and injured his former partner Sam Stobbart and killed her new boyfriend, Chris Brown.

Pc Rathband has been hailed for his charity work in the wake of his injuries. He set up the Blue Lamp Foundation, an organisation offering help to injured members of the emergency services. The inquest into Moat's death is due to start next week.


From Belfast Telegraph