Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Rathband twin in cathedral speech

Pc David Rathband's twin said it was "time to take my brother home" at the end of a moving cathedral service for the officer who died after he was shot and blinded by a gunman.

Darren Rathband drove the hearse from St Nicholas's Cathedral, Newcastle, to their native Staffordshire, having earlier booked his brother out from Etal Lane police station - formally finishing the shift he never completed.

Pc Rathband's children Mia, 13, and Ashley, 19, were at the cathedral, along with actor Tim Healy, Northumbria Police chief constable Sue Sim, police minister Nick Herbert, members of the emergency services, and hundreds of members of the public who took the Midlander to their hearts.

He was shot and blinded while unarmed in his patrol car in July 2010 by gunman Raoul Moat and was found hanging at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29.

Six pallbearers from the police, fire and ambulance service carried his coffin through the cathedral.

In a heart-breaking speech, his twin said: "I have lost half of me. You don't get over it, you just get through it. Every day grief puts on a new face.

"My brother said to me 'you're a good brother', I say to my brother 'you're a great brother'. It is time to take my brother home."

Pc Rathband's traffic officer's cap was on top of his coffin, which was draped with the Union flag, along with white lilies.

As the hearse drove away, met with public applause, flowers which spelled out his Tango 190 call sign in orange and a yellow and red Northumbria Police badge tribute could be seen.

Policing Minister Nick Herbert said: "I think it is right that we remember this brave police officer and what he did for the community that he served." Chief Constable Sue Sim added: "He was gunned down in tragic circumstances doing the job of constable he loved. My heart goes out to Kath and the children and the rest of the family."


From Belfast Telegraph