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Constable blinded by Raoul Moat fights 'unfair' benefit

Tom Morgan,Pa
Thursday 16 September 2010 09:18 BST
(Photo by Northumbria Police via Getty Images)

The police officer blinded by gunman Raoul Moat has revealed he is fighting the Government after being awarded £18.95-a-week mobility allowance.

Pc David Rathband said it was "somehow not fair" that he had been awarded the lowest band for his disability living allowance.

The 42-year-old Northumbria Police officer lost sight in both eyes after he was blasted while sitting unarmed in a patrol car on an A1 roundabout on July 4.

He wrote on Twitter: "Now ready for battle with the DHSS. Been awarded lowest band for mobility. Somehow not fair."

After receiving messages of support over his plight, he added: "Thank you for all the words of support, each one makes me stronger to keep up the battle. It's easy to remove the dark days with your support."

Home Secretary Theresa May has twice written to the officer and invited him to the House of Commons.

Pc Rathband likened the shooting to having his "head inside a tin can with the biggest firework you can imagine. It was absolutely unbearable".

But he has insisted he has "no malice towards the man who shot me".

Disability living allowance, a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults needing care, is in two parts - care and mobility.

Pc Rathband is understood to be receiving a higher band for care.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We are indebted to Pc Rathband for his bravery and we want to ensure he receives all the benefits he is entitled to.

"For those who require frequent care and supervision, the highest rate of the care component of disability living allowance is awarded to meet their care needs."

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