Pc David Rathband 'threatened to hang himself during FaceTime call with estranged wife'

Police officer shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat made several suicide threats, inquest told

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 07 January 2014 15:50
Pc David Rathband hanged himself two years after being shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat
Pc David Rathband hanged himself two years after being shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat

The police officer blinded by gunman Raoul Moat in 2010 threatened to hang himself during a video call so his estranged wife would see it, an inquest heard today.

Pc David Rathband, 44, was found hanging at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, in February 2012.

The inquest heard the father of two made several suicide threats in the months leading up to his death.

But the family liaison officer warned about the video call told the hearing she did not believe Pc Rathband would go through with it.

Detective Constable Alison Brown said: “I thought it was such a bizarre thing to say. Saying you're going to hang yourself and do it on FaceTime is bizarre.

”David had never said to me personally that he had any suicidal thoughts.

“I knew there was these Twitter posts and what he said to Kath [Rathband] but he never said anything to me.

“For someone to say that, I just thought it was an awful thing to say.”

Pc Rathband became famous after surviving being shot twice by Moat while he was on the run from police.

Moat was eventually cornered after a nine-day manhunt and shot himself during a stand-off with police.

Pc Rathband went on to create the Blue Lamp Foundation to help emergency workers injured in the line of duty and won national acclaim for his efforts.

Yesterday it emerged he had an affair with Lisa French, who was injured in the 7/7 London bombings.

Mrs Rathband said their marriage floundered after she discovered his infidelity and he bombarded her with messages and calls asking her to take him back.

A Northumbria Police investigation into its handling of Pc Rathband’s case following a complaint by his family found no evidence of mistakes.

The inquest at Newcastle's Moot Hall is due to last until Friday.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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