PC David Rathband Inquest

And inquest into the death of PC David Rathband is taking place

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David Rathband inquest hears from wife and lover

Family members of PC David Rathband have said he was "let down by the people that could have prevented his death" as they arrived for the start of his inquest in Newcastle.

The 43 year old, blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, was found hanged at his home in Blyth in August 2012.

Today's hearing also heard revelations that he was having a relationship with a survivor of the July 7th London bombings before his death but was desperate to patch up his marriage.

Watch Gregg Easteal's report here:


Kath Rathband: Affair ended our marriage

David Rathband had an affair with 7/7 survivor Lisa French in the months before he died which effectively ended their marriage, his widow told an inquest into his death.

Mrs Rathband told the inquest the officer could not understand why she would not take him back and rang her up to 100 times a day.

She visited him at his home on the evening he hanged himself and was concerned enough to call his welfare officer, Inspector John Heckles, and to text his sister in Staffordshire.

But, despite her fears, she did not consider he was going to kill himself, Kath Rathband told the hearing.

David Rathband inquest

Tyne Tees reporter Gregg Easteal is tweeting from inside the court.

The morning so far:

"Kath Rathband tells inquest she decided on split from David after she found out he was having a relationship with 7/7 survivor Lisa French"

"Kath Rathband tells inquest David pleaded for them to be reconciled repeatedly. She says he left her many abusive messages."

"Kath Rathband said David made suicide threats by text and voicemail but whenever she spoke to him personally she would feel reassured."

"Kath Rathband says David asked her to leave house night of his death but she called police as she was worried about him."


Inquest into death of David Rathband starts

PC David Rathband Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The family of PC David Rathband have said he was "let down by the people that could have prevented his death" as they attended his inquest, two years after he was found dead at his home in Northumberland.

The 43-year-old was left blind and fighting for his life after gunman Raoul Moat shot him twice while he was on the run in July 2010.

Speaking on the steps of Moot Hall, Newcastle, Mr Rathband's father Keith said: "The evidence that the coroner has been given identifies that David was let down by the people that could have prevented his death.

"The findings of the coroner may be a foregone conclusion to many. Our hope is he finds David's death was preventable in the circumstances."

Mr Rathband's sisters, Debbie Essery and Julie Reece, joined their father in expressing concerns about previous events.

Ms Essery said: "Northumbria Police investigated a complaint made by David's brother Darren.

"Into those issues the investigation found there was no case to be answered.

"As a family, we don't accept this. The findings of that investigation are contradictory to the evidence the coroner's been given."

PC Rathband won national praise for his battle against disability and for setting up a charity to help other emergency workers injured in the line of their work.

He was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29, 2012.

Mr Rathband, a father of two, was estranged from his wife Kath, and reportedly told her she would "look nice in black" when they spoke on the phone for the last time.

His twin Darren, a police officer in Australia, is not attending the inquest, and his widow Kath and son Ash walked in separately from the dead officer's father and sisters.

Before blasting the unarmed traffic officer, Moat shot and injured his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, and killed her boyfriend, 29-year-old Chris Brown.

Moat shot himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, during a standoff with police at the end of a week-long manhunt.

An inquest into Mr Brown's death concluded last month he was unlawfully killed.

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