Blinded Raoul Moat PC David Rathband splits from wife

 

The police officer blinded by gunman Raoul Moat says his wife has "called time" on their 20-year-long marriage.

Pc David Rathband made the announcement that he and his wife Kath were separating permanently on Twitter.

He Tweeted: "Sad to announce Mrs R has called time on our marriage separation permanent."

Well-wishers swiftly used the micro-blogging site to offer their support and express their sadness.

The officer later Tweeted: "Time to read a book and thanks for all the messages I am fine."

In September, just before the start of the inquest into Raoul Moat's death, Pc Rathband issued a statement saying he was to "live separately from his wife and family".

But that statement stressed the move was "purely for David's rehabilitation and so that he can ultimately continue to support his family".

It said the move had nothing to do with his recent arrest on suspicion of assault and stressed "David and Kath are very much still a married couple who love each other".

Pc Rathband was arrested in August after officers were called to an incident at his home in Cramlington, Northumberland.

He was understood to have been released shortly after police arrived.

The 43-year-old was shot twice on July 4 last year as he sat unarmed in his patrol car.

The officer, who joined the Northumbria force in 2000, lost vision in both eyes after being shot at close range during the manhunt for fugitive Moat, who shot and injured his former partner Sam Stobbart and killed her new boyfriend, Chris Brown.

Pc Rathband has been hailed for his charity work in the wake of his injuries.

He set up the Blue Lamp Foundation, an organisation offering help to injured members of the emergency services.

One follower Tweeted: "I hope you are both OK and that you will both be happy whatever you do".

PA

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