Family of PC Rathband lose Northumbria Police negligence claim

Picture by: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images.
Picture by: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images.

The family of PC David Rathband have lost their High Court negligence claim against Northumbria Police.

David Rathband’s relatives’ argued the force ‘failed to alert officers that Raoul Moat was likely to target them’.

Mr Rathband was shot in the eye by Moat in Newcastle in 2010.

He began legal action before taking his own life in 2012, claiming that the Northumbria Police should have alerted officers, after Moat dialled 999 and announced he was targeting police.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman says they are “content with the Judge’s response” and that “this has been a sad and difficult case for all concerned”.

“The Judge has stated that Moat was a ‘resourceful and determined criminal and David Rathband was desperately unlucky to be the victim of his cruelty and hatred’, said Chief Con Ashman.

He added: “Moat’s actions created an unprecedented situation for Northumbria Police but the Judge has recognised that operational officers have to make high pressure, complex decisions in tight time scales and in doing so, they must focus not only on officer safety but on the safety and welfare of the public.

“To protect the public was the primary role of the police commander that night.”

Following detailed scrutiny of the events of that night, the judge stated it was clear that PC Rathband had not been let down by Northumbria Police.

The Chief Constable added: “We continue to wish David’s family the best for the future and David will always remain in the heart of Northumbria Police.”

Meanwhile, Former Chief Constable Sue Sim said there are “no winners or losers in this tragic episode”.

She said: “David was acting in the best tradition of policing when he was brutally shot by Raoul Moat. I was, and remain, honoured to have led my officers during what was a most difficult and testing time for everyone public and police.

“My thoughts, prayers and best wishes remain with Kath and their two children, together with other close family members, who have been affected by these terrible events.”

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