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Two ceremonies for hero Pc Rathband

Two separate cathedral ceremonies organised with different parts of Pc David Rathband's family will be held to honour the life of the heroic officer.

The 44-year-old, blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, a week ago.

The father of Mia, 13, and Ashley, 19, was understood to be heartbroken by the end of his marriage to wife Kath.

His twin, Darren, has arranged for a celebratory service at St Nicholas' Cathedral in Newcastle on Saturday and Northumbria Police said an official memorial will happen at the same venue nine days later.

A force spokesman said: "The service will be a formal police memorial to Pc Rathband as a police officer and a public servant, and has been organised in conjunction with David's widow Kath and their children.

"It will be an opportunity for all his police colleagues to pay their respects and will be open to the public.

"The force understands that David's family are planning to hold a Celebration of Life service at the same location on Saturday March 10. This is a family organised service and they have extended an invitation to anyone wishing to attend."

The service this weekend coincides with a Liberal Democrat spring conference in Gateshead, which will require a strong police presence.

The police spokesman added: "Due to significant operational policing commitments on Saturday March 10 in Newcastle, many of David's colleagues and friends in the police service will be unable to attend on Saturday as they will be on operational duty.

"Northumbria Police understands that a separate family funeral service is planned for Saturday March 17 in Staffordshire. In accordance with David's own wishes, this is not a police funeral."

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