David Rathband: "I have to believe I took one for my colleagues."

David Rathband's book 'Tango 190' Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

If gunman Raoul Moat had not blasted Pc David Rathband he would "probably" have shot a colleague, a High Court judge has found.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Males referred to a passage from the late officer's book Tango 190 in which he wrote:

It could have been any of us.

Passage from David Rathband's book 'Tango 190'

The judge quoted Pc Rathband's belief that Moat could have turned up at apolice station or shot another officer who wound his window down.

Imagine that happening to a female colleague of yours in her 20s and having to explain it to her parents or a young baby.

Passage from David Rathband's book 'Tango 190'

Moat was a resourceful and determined criminal, well capable of carrying out his threat, who remained at large for some days after Pc Rathband was shot.

Mr Justice Males