The judge in the civil case brought against Northumbria Police summed up his decision saying that "but if it had not been him (Rathband) it would probably have been somebody else".
The family of Pc David Rathband lost their civil case against Northumbria Police, after attempting to sue them for negligence.
Rahtband was shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat in 2010.
He later took his own life.
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.
Regardless of the issue of any warning to be vigilant, PC Rathband’s bleak assessment was probably right.
He was desperately unlucky to be the victim of Moat’s cruelty and hatred, but if it had not been him, it would probably have been somebody else."
What the judge had to say:
- Superintendent Farrell (Silver Commander at the time) had only 3½ minutes in which to do anything which would have averted the shooting. In all probability that was simply not enough time.
- Even if a warning had been broadcast within that short period, it would have left PC Rathband with very little time, measured (at most) in seconds rather than minutes, in which to decide that he needed to move away from the position in which his vehicle was parked.
- Unless he moved off almost instantaneously, a warning would not have averted his shooting.
- The Judge referenced Rathband's book saying: It is worth referring to the emotion which PC Rathband described (in his book) in contemplating the likelihood that, if it had not been him who was shot, it would have been one of his fellow officers:
In his judgment, Mr Justice Males referred to a passage from the late officer's book Tango 190.
The family of Pc David Rathband hit out at the "arrogance and insensitivity" of Northumbria Police after they lost their negligence claim.
Family members of Pc David Rathband are expected to find out today whether their claim against Northumbria Police has been successful.