Tyne & Wear

Pc David Rathband 'played dead' after Moat shooting

Pc David Rathband arrives at court with his wife and son
Image caption Pc Rathband appeared in full uniform for the first time since being shot

The policeman blinded by gunman Raoul Moat has told a court how he played dead after being shot twice by him.

Pc David Rathband, 42, was shot through the window of his marked police car in Newcastle last July.

Giving evidence at the trial of two men accused of helping Moat, he said he thought the gunman had tried to execute him with the second shot.

Karl Ness, 26, and Qhuram Awan, 23, deny plotting to murder, attempted murder, robbery and having a gun.

Mr Ness also denies the murder of karate instructor Chris Brown.

Pc Rathband, who was shot on 3 July after parking at the junction of the A1 and A69, told Newcastle Crown Court: "As I lay in the car, I realised I just had to lie there and literally play dead because it was quite clear Moat wanted me dead."

He told jurors that he somehow raised his left arm to protect himself after the first shot badly damaged his right eye.

'Rasping noises'

"He shot me in the middle of my eyes and the second shot was to finish me off.

"So I tried to stop myself breathing because I was making lots of rasping noises because of the amount of blood that was spraying out and that was going down my throat.

"It felt like a lifetime but in reality it was probably a few seconds."

Although he was badly injured, Pc Rathband managed to raise the alarm using a microphone on the gear stick of his patrol car.

"I said 'I've been shot, I need urgent assistance'," he recalled.

The jury has heard that Moat ran back to the car driven by Mr Awan, which Mr Ness was also in, leaving Pc Rathband seriously injured.

The officer, who was unarmed when he was shot by Moat, arrived at court carrying a white stick and wearing his full police uniform for the first time in public since being shot.

The fugitive gunman shot himself on 10 July after a six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland.

Moat had been on the run after shooting his former partner Samantha Stobbart, 22, killing her new boyfriend Mr Brown, 29, and shooting Pc Rathband, soon after being released from Durham Prison.

Mr Ness, of Brookside in Dudley, North Tyneside, denies the murder of Mr Brown, attempting to murder Pc Rathband, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one of robbing a shop.

Mr Awan, of Rowley Street in Blyth, Northumberland, denies the attempted murder of Pc Rathband, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one of robbing a shop.

The trial continues.

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