Family of Pc Rathband to sue police over Raoul Moat killing


Critical minutes between gun maniac Raoul Moat dialling 999 to say he was hunting for police and him shooting Pc David Rathband will be the subject of a High Court action today. 

Pc Rathband's twin brother Darren and sister Debbie Essery are taking Northumbria Police to court, claiming the force was negligent in not passing on the warning to staff on patrol that night.

They will argue that had he known about the specific threat, Pc Rathband would not have been sat stationary in his patrol car on a prominent junction above the A1 in Newcastle, and would have been mobile.

In the minutes after Pc Rathband was blasted twice by the ex-doorman, senior officers ordered all unarmed police to return to their stations, the Rathbands' legal team will claim in the High Court sitting in Newcastle.

In the early hours of July 3 2010, Moat shot his ex-partner Samantha Stobbart and murdered her new lover Chris Brown in Birtley, Gateshead, and went on the run.

That next night, Moat spoke to a Northumbria Police call handler for almost five minutes, saying he would kill any officer who came near him, that he was not coming in alive and, at one point, that he was hunting for officers.

The traffic officer, a father-of-two, was blinded, as well as being left with considerable and painful injuries to the face and shoulder. He lost his sense of smell and taste, felt sick every day and lost three stones.

His pain increased through the day and kept him awake at night.

He killed himself in February 2012 aged 44 and the case is being brought on his behalf by his siblings who are executors of his estate.

The legal case was started by Pc Rathband himself, and originally any damages if he won would have had to cover his on-going care.