PC David Rathband inquest: Affair with 7/7 survivor 'ended marriage'

PC David Rathband PC David Rathband survived being shot twice in the face as he sat in his patrol car

Related Stories

The wife of a PC shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat has told an inquest his affair with a 7/7 bomb survivor effectively ended their marriage.

Kath Rathband said her estranged husband David would call her up to 100 times a day asking to come home despite having a relationship with Lisa French.

Mrs Rathband was giving evidence at the Newcastle inquest into the PC's death.

The 43-year-old was found hanged in Blyth, Northumberland, in 2012, 19 months after being shot by Moat.

Mrs Rathband said she had visited Mr Rathband at his home on the evening he died and was concerned enough to call his welfare officer, Inspector John Heckles, and to text his sister, Debbie Essery, who lived in Staffordshire.

But despite her fears for his well-being, she did not consider he was going to kill himself, she told the hearing.

"Of course I couldn't possibly know," she said. "Nobody could have known. But I did not feel that David was in imminent danger of taking his life for a moment."

'Level of deceit'

Ms French, who was at the inquest, survived the bombing of the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square in London in 2005, despite sitting near the bomber.

Kath Rathband Kath Rathband said her husband's affair ended their marriage

Mrs Rathband said the last time she saw Mr Rathband he had just returned from Australia and "looked awful".

"He said to me, 'I'm sorry, I do love you'," she told the inquest. "'I don't want to be friends'."

She said that she had taken him back after previous affairs, but would not do so again.

"I told him I couldn't go back after his behaviour to me and the kids and he could not understand why," she said.

Later, he called her to tell her again that he loved her and that "I wouldn't see him again", Mrs Rathband said.

Mrs Rathband said: "I told him, 'Don't be stupid, don't say things like that'."

Mrs Rathband discovered he had begun a relationship with Ms French after they exchanged Twitter messages.

She found out it was more than a friendship in late December 2011, before he flew to Australia to visit his twin and she said it "put an end" to plans to rebuild their marriage.

"By this point it was my opinion our marriage was over due to David's level of deceit," she said.

'Fought bravely'

Giving evidence, Ms French said shortly before his death he told her he had tried to kill himself, but had been unable to go through with it.

She said it had been a "step forward" for her, as it might mean he had "come to terms" with the fact that he could not "put himself through that".

She told the inquest: "David did not make threats to kill himself to me, but he expressed suicidal thoughts. He trusted me and said he felt so low it made him feel suicidal.

Lisa French Lisa French had a relationship with David Rathband before his death

"He also spoke at great length about how he did not want to do it and he fought bravely and courageously for the whole six months that I knew him."

Before the inquest began, Mr Rathband's father Keith, said: "The evidence that the coroner has been given identifies that David was let down by the people that could have prevented his death.

"The findings of the coroner may be a foregone conclusion to many. Our hope is he finds David's death was preventable in the circumstances."

Moat shot Samantha Stobbart, who survived, and Chris Brown, who died, in Birtley, Gateshead, on 3 July 2010, hours after his release from prison.

The next day he shot Mr Rathband, originally from Stafford, twice in the face as he sat in his patrol car in East Denton, Newcastle.

Following a week on the run, the former nightclub bouncer turned the gun on himself during a stand-off with police in Rothbury on 10 July.

The inquest into Mr Rathband's death is expected to last five days.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

21 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Woman raped near bowling alley 11:13:

    A 26-year-old woman has been raped in Newcastle.

    The attack is thought to have taken place between 23:00 on Friday and 04:00 on Saturday around Westgate Road, near the bowling alley.

    Police said the man was in his 20s or 30s, about 5ft 8in, thin, with dark brown or black hair.

     
  2.  
    News on the hour 10:59:

    The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A High Court judge has ruled that Newcastle City Council's not paying enough for decent care for the elderly.
    • BBC Tees: Nearly 900 people have been killed or injured on the roads of Teesside and County Durham in the last four years in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
     
  3.  
    NE house prices up 0.8% 10:47:

    Average house prices in the UK in June were unchanged - yes that's right unchanged - says the Land Registry. It is the only one whose index measures the actual sale price. It's not the first house price data to show a levelling off and one or two have even suggested slight falls. One reason could be April's tougher mortgage affordability rules but that's unlikely to be the only explanation.

    A street of colourfully painted houses in London

    On an annual basis, the West Midlands saw a 4.7% increase in average house prices, while the South East saw house prices jump 7.8%. At the other end of the scale, house prices in the North East are up just 0.8% since June last year.

     
  4.  
    Your views needed 10:34:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  5.  
    Girl's brain tumour returns 10:21: The Gazette Newspaper

    Teesside parents Sally and Wayne Hodgson say inspirational four-year-old Ruby will need surgery again after a tumour returned for the third time.

     
  6.  
    Cheryl lands fourth solo No1 10:10:

    Cheryl Cole has landed the fourth solo number one of her career, becoming only the third British female in chart history to achieve the feat.

    The Heaton-born singer's success with Crazy Stupid Love puts her alongside Geri Halliwell and Rita Ora.

    Cheryl Cole

    Cheryl said: "It feels great to be back but even more special to have achieved my fourth number one. So exciting!"

     
  7.  
    News on the hour 09:59:

    The top local headlines at 10:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A care home company which took Newcastle City Council to court over the fees it pays them has won its case.
    • BBC Tees: Nearly 900 people have been killed or injured on the roads of Teesside and County Durham in the last four years in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
     
  8.  
    Crash death biker was father-to-be 09:48: Newcastle Chronicle

    The pregnant partner of a motorcyclist who died in a road crash has vowed never to let her unborn baby forget its dad.

     
  9.  
    'Emergency passports available' 09:36:

    Regarding strike action at passport offices, including one in Durham, the Home Office said in a statement: "We have contingency plans in place to ensure that during any industrial action passport offices will maintain a service to the public and keep any inconvenience to a minimum."

    "All HM Passport Office customer service centre counters will remain open and we will be able to issue passports for those in emergency situations, with urgent travel needs."

     
  10.  
    MH17 crash 'a war crime' 09:25: BREAKING NEWS

    The downing of Malaysian plane MH17 in east Ukraine may constitute a "war crime", UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says.

    The crash killed Newcastle United fans Liam Sweeney and John Alder, who were on their way to watch the club's pre-season tour of New Zealand.

     
  11.  
    Passport office to remain open 09:20:

    The Home Office says all its passport offices, including the one in Durham, will continue to deliver a service today despite strike action taking place.

    The Passport Office

    Members of the PCS union are walking out in a dispute over workload and staffing levels.

     
  12.  
    Rubbish apology 09:09:

    Durham County Council tweets: Apologies to anyone whose bin wasn't emptied on Friday. We're still catching up on the backlog and will be back to empty them today.

     
  13.  
    News on the hour 08:58:

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

     
  14.  
    Top headlines
     
  15.  
    Record numbers at air show 08:46: Alfie Joey BBC Newcastle

    Almost a million people turned up at the Sunderland International Air Show at the weekend - a record for the event.

    The Red Arrows perform over the seafront at Seaburn

    The team at BBC Newcastle had a brilliant time covering it and you can hear some of the highlights this morning on Alfie and Charlie.

     
  16.  
    Bridging the gap 08:35: Jonathan Swingler BBC Tees

    This bridge between Middlesbrough and Stockton is going to close for six weeks to be painted red and silver. There's more on BBC Tees and you can listen live here.

    Tees Newport Bridge
     
  17.  
    Missing woman found safe 08:21:

    A woman from Stockton who went missing last week has turned up safe and well.

    Jennifer O'Neil

    Jennifer O'Neil had last been seen on Thursday, but made contact with police late last night.

     
  18.  
    Another sunny day ahead 08:09: Kay Crewdson BBC Weather

    Most places will be dry with a fair amount of sunshine. There may be the odd shower, but these should be brief and mainly light. It'll feel quite warm, with temperatures slightly above average. Coastal areas may feel a touch cooler, because of an onshore breeze.

    Kay Crewdson

    The maximum temperature will be 23C (73F). Check the forecast near you.

     
  19.  
    Good morning 08:00: Robert Cooper BBC News Online

    Welcome to BBC Local Live on this sunny morning. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.