Tyne & Wear

PC Rathband's daughter takes his Olympic flame place

PC David Rathband
Image caption PC Rathband's daughter will take his place as a torch bearer

The teenage daughter of PC David Rathband is to take his place as an Olympic torchbearer.

The 44-year-old, who was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, had been nominated to carry the flame through Whitburn on 16 June.

But he died in February and Mia, 13, asked to take his place.

A spokesman for the Blue Lamp Foundation, the PC's charity, said he would have been "delighted" with his daughter's involvement.

PC Rathband was shot by Moat as he sat in his patrol car in 2010.

Despite his disability, he tried to rebuild his life and set up the charity which helps emergency services personnel injured in the line of duty.

On 29 February this year he was found hanged in his home in Blyth, Northumberland.

Sharron Ashurst of the foundation said it had so far raised £350,000. "This is David's legacy so he would have been delighted that Mia is taking his place," she said.

The flame's first stop in the north east of England will be in Northumberland on 15 June.

It will arrive at Alnwick Market Place at just before 07:25 BST and will be carried along the coast and inland through Amble, Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Choppington, Morpeth and Blyth.

After passing Cullercoats Primary School at about 14:40 BST, it will go through Whitley Bay, Cullercoats, Tynemouth, North Shields and Wallsend, before heading to Newcastle.

From Northumberland Street, the torch will take flight at about 18:55 BST on a zipwire from the Tyne Bridge.

For the second leg of its north-east journey on 16 June, the torch will leave The Sage Gateshead at about 06:25 BST.

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