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PC David Rathband: Michael Winner Backs 'Permanent Memorial' For Blinded Officer

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PC David Rathband, Blinded By Killer Raoul Moat Was Found Dead At Home On Thursday
PC David Rathband, Blinded By Killer Raoul Moat Was Found Dead At Home On Thursday

Film director Michael Winner has proposed that a permanent memorial be made to the policeman shot by Raoul Moat.

Mr Winner, who is chairman of the Police Memorial Trust, said the tribute should be placed at the spot on the A1 roundabout where Pc David Rathband was blasted in the face, losing the sight in both his eyes.

It would be an unprecedented move for the Trust to honour in this way an officer who has not lost his life in the direct line of duty.

The 44-year-old was found hanged after officers forced entry to his semi-detached home in Bebside, Blyth, Northumberland, on Wednesday night.

His death is being treated as a suspected suicide, police said.

Mr Winner said Moat was responsible for the father-of-two's death, even if the shots he fired on July 4 2010 had not killed the Pc outright.

He said the charity was considering having a remembrance ceremony where a memorial plaque with the words "here fell" would be dedicated to the officer.

Mr Winner, who offered Pc Rathband his support following his injuries, said: "It would be absolutely unique in the 25-year history of the trust.

"He was not slain on duty - but in a way, he was.

"My instinct is to give him some sort of public recognition.

"He was obviously a devoted officer, the kind we need; not the sort to sit at home when things were going wrong or to hide when the bullets were flying.

"He placed himself in the line of fire. We need those sort of people."

Pc Rathband had described the struggle to overcome the injuries inflicted by Moat.

He was left permanently blind and in constant pain, with more than 200 shotgun pellets embedded in his skull.

Mr Winner said no amount of support could have made up for the trauma he experienced.

He said: "Support is not necessarily effective.

"I do not know how much support he was given, it does not matter; support in these dire circumstances is not effective.

"If a life has been turned around that horribly the support is very brief compared to the horror of living on, and he found it too much to take.

"I am not sure any more could have been done.

"All types of counselling and advice are a minuscule part of the day and night compared to what the victim has to live through.

"He was a fit man who was serving the community who was tragically mown down.

"He had to turn into a totally different human being.

"The only way they could have helped him more would have been to put him in a home where he could have been looked after day and night.

"You cannot blame anybody except Raoul Moat for his death."

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