Tyne & Wear

Pc David Rathband sues force over Raoul Moat shooting

The Pc shot by Raoul Moat is suing Northumbria Police over claims they failed to tell him about the gunman's threat to target police officers.

Pc David Rathband was blinded by Moat in July last year, minutes after the gunman called police warning he intended to target police officers.

Moat earlier shot the boyfriend of his former partner at a Gateshead house.

Pc Rathband told BBC Radio 5 Live "terrible mistakes" on the night he was shot left him as a "sitting duck".

Moat, 37, died after a six-hour stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland, on 10 July.

Pc Rathband said: "There are individuals within my organisation that made terrible mistakes."

Minutes before he was shot in the face, Moat had called Northumbria Police admitting to shooting karate instructor Chris Brown, who he mistakenly thought was a police officer. Moat then said he intended to target other police officers.

'Drastically wrong'

Pc Rathband said: "People knew what was happening that night. I didn't know until two weeks after.

"It went drastically wrong. It could have been one of my other colleagues.

"If you know there's a direct threat you either remove the threat or remove the person that's being threatened.

Image caption Raoul Moat went on the run for a week after the shootings

"I didn't know someone with a gun was intent on killing police officers. If I had I wouldn't have been shot. I was a sitting duck.

"My legal team have put together a case and it's up to them now.

"You could give me millions, but it's not about the money, it's about the principle that they let me down. It could have been a member of the public."

Pc Rathband said he intended to return to work at some point in the future.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We look forward to welcoming David back to the force as soon as he is able.

"We can confirm that we have received correspondence from his lawyers and are considering the contents."

Pc Rathband also said that following the conviction of two men who helped Moat, he had banished nightly visions of his attacker.

He said until Karl Ness, 26, and Qhuram Awan, 23, were found guilty earlier this month, a vision of Moat would appear in his mind every night.

But Pc Rathband said after the trial he was able to sleep without seeing the face of his attacker.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Ness was given a 40-year minimum term, while Awan must serve at least 20 years for aiding the gunman.

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