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1 March 2012, 05:33
David Rathband, the policeman shot and blinded by Raoul Moat, has been found dead at his home in Northumberland.
The body of PC Rathband was discovered by police at his home in Blyth last night after officers received a report of concern for his welfare.
Northumbria Police said he was declared dead at the scene.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said:
"At 7pm tonight officers received a report of concern for the welfare of PC David Rathband at his home in Blyth.
Officers attended alongside the ambulance service and PC Rathband was found inside. He was declared dead at the scene.
A police investigation is underway and officers are notifying his family. The coroner has been informed.""
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Sue Sim said:
"I am deeply saddened to have to confirm the death of Pc David Rathband and my thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.
"In July 2010 his life changed for ever when he was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat.
"David showed outstanding bravery in what was a terrifying situation.
"He was a dedicated officer who acted in the best traditions of the police service."
A police spokesman said no-one else was being sought in connection with the incident.
PC Rathband's brother Darren, who lives in Australia, posted a message on Twitter saying he was returning to Britain.
"On way back to the UK, to be at my brothers side. RIP Police Constable 190 David John Rathband Please support blue lamp foundation."
PC Rathband flew back home last weekend after spending time with Darren in Australia where he had surgery to remove pieces of shrapnel from his face.
The 44-year-old officer was shot twice on July 4, 2010, as he sat unarmed in his patrol car.
PC Rathband, who joined the Northumbria force in 2000, lost vision in both eyes after being shot at close range during the manhunt for fugitive Moat, who shot and injured his former partner Sam Stobbart and killed her new boyfriend, Chris Brown.
In September, just before the start of the inquest into Moat's death, PC Rathband issued a statement saying he was to "live separately from his wife and family".
But that statement stressed the move was "purely for David's rehabilitation and so that he can ultimately continue to support his family".
It said the move had nothing to do with his arrest on suspicion of assault and stressed "David and Kath are very much still a married couple who love each other".
PC Rathband was arrested in August last year after officers were called to an incident at his home in Cramlington, Northumberland.
He was understood to have been released shortly after police arrived.
Hailed for his charity work in the wake of his injuries, PC Rathband announced on Twitter in November that he and his wife Kath were separating permanently.
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