Tyne & Wear

Raoul Moat shooting victim says benefit award unfair

Pc David Rathband
Image caption After the shooting, Pc Rathband said that he hoped to return to work

The police officer blinded by Raoul Moat has described the level of mobility payment he has been awarded as a "travesty".

Pc David Rathband was shot in the face and chest by the gunman on 4 July.

He revealed that he had been awarded the lower band, £18.95 a week. He is still receiving his full police salary.

The Northumbria Police officer is understood to be getting the highest band for the care component of his Disability Living Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults who need someone to help look after them, or who have walking difficulties.

It has two components, care and mobility, and is available whether or not the recipient is working.

'No malice'

Pc Rathband said: "I think the basis for their decision is because I can walk - I can learn a route and walk it.

"But I actually cannot go outside my gate without getting lost and I have to be assisted everywhere I go.

"I have never claimed benefits since I left school and I think this is a travesty."

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions 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."

PC Rathband added on Twitter: "Now ready for battle with the DHSS. Somehow not fair."

After the shooting, he said that he "bore no malice" towards Moat, who later shot himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, following a week-long manhunt.

He also said he that he was determined to return to duty as a police officer.

Northumbria Police has confirmed that Pc Rathband is still employed by the force and receiving his full salary.

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