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Shot Pc sues force over Moat attack

Shot Pc David Rathband has said he is suing his own force because he was left "a sitting duck" when gunman Raoul Moat declared war on police.

The 43-year-old father of two was blinded when the fugitive shot him during his rampage last summer.

Moat told a police 999 call operator he was armed and "hunting for officers" moments before the attack in July. Pc Rathband was not warned of the threat and Moat was able to blast him as he sat unarmed in his patrol car on an A1 roundabout.

Pc Rathband then prevented other officers being harmed by radioing for help, despite bleeding heavily from wounds to his head and body.

He was in court when Moat's henchmen Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan were jailed for life earlier this month. Hearing how the two helped keep the gunman one step ahead of the law was unbearable but had drawn a line under a chapter in his life, he said.

Pc Rathband is in training to run the London Marathon in April to raise money for The Blue Lamp Foundation, the charity he set up in the wake of his shooting. The charity seeks to help emergency services staff who have been injured as they carry out their duties.

He told The Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Radio 5 Live he was suing Northumbria Police because what happened to him "could and should" have been avoided.

He said: "There are individuals within Northumbria Police that made terrible mistakes and should be held accountable.

"If you know that somebody has made a direct threat towards someone you either remove that threat or remove the person that is being threatened. That is just common sense and they did not do that."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We look forward to welcoming David back to the force as soon as he is able. We can confirm that we have received correspondence from his lawyers and are considering the contents."


From Belfast Telegraph