PC David Rathband, who was left blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, had planned a new life in Australia in the weeks before he died, his twin brother has said.

The 44-year-old considered leaving Northumbria Police and living in a specially-built home next to his identical twin Darren, who lives in Adelaide.

He said they discussed the future while David was visiting him. But just days after returning from Australia, PC Rathband was found hanging at his home in Blyth, Northumberland.

He was believed to be devastated by the breakdown of his marriage to wife Kath, with whom he had a son Ashley, 19, and daughter Mia, 13, and was struggling to cope with the pain of his injuries and the loss of his sight.

Darren, a police officer in Australia, said: "We planned a future together. We looked at buying a house with some land. David could have his own independent living accommodation, with a pool."

Mr Rathband said he did not know what had changed in the days before his brother was found hanging.

Chief Constable Sue Sim said last week Northumbria Police discussed PC Rathband's return to work with the force in a road safety capacity next month. But Mr Rathband said his brother discussed not going back to work there.

"I certainly think there were times when that attitude did change and there were times when he still wanted to get back to work. It was difficult for him," he said.

Mr Rathband said: "He was a policeman who got paid a relatively average wage and it has ended up he has lost his life. His legacy is that we have to look after people who look after us. I know it is corny, but we have to protect the protectors."