Tyne & Wear

Police actions over Raoul Moat to be examined in Rathband case

Pc David Rathband in his police uniform Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Pc David Rathband started the case against Northumbria Police before taking his own life

The actions of police in the time between gunman Raoul Moat threatening to kill officers and then shooting one are set to be scrutinised in court.

PC David Rathband was shot twice by Moat in 2010, just minutes after the killer told the Northumbria force he was hunting for police.

The officer's family claims the force was negligent in not passing on the warning to staff on patrol.

Northumbria Police declined to comment ahead of the High Court date.

Moat shot his former partner, Samantha Stobbart, and killed her boyfriend, Chris Brown, in the early hours of 3 July 2010 in Birtley, Gateshead.

Hours later he attacked Pc Rathband, who was sitting his patrol car.

The officer survived but was blinded in both eyes. He took his own life in 2012.

Image copyright Northumbria Police/PA
Image caption Raoul Moat killed himself after being cornered by police in Northumberland

Moat had told a Northumbria Police call handler he would kill any officer who came near him, that he was not coming in alive and he was hunting for officers.

He ended the call at 00:34 BST on 4 July and PC Rathband was shot at about 00:42, the legal claim says.

The officer's twin brother Darren Rathband and sister Debbie Essery said, had he known about the specific threat, he would not have stayed stationary in a "highly visible" position on a prominent junction above the A1 in Newcastle.

The court is expected to hear that a Northumbria Police employee phoned a supervisor to ask if "something was going out over the air regarding the threats".

The family claims no action was taken.

Northumbria Police led a huge manhunt for Moat and eventually cornered him six days later in Rothbury, Northumberland, where, after a six-hour stand off, Moat killed himself.

The legal case, started by Pc Rathband himself, will be heard at Newcastle Crown Court on 12 January and is expected to last two weeks.

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