Lisa French, 7/7 Survivor, Tells Of How She Loved PC David Rathband "To Bits"

7/7 Survivor Tells Of Relationship With Late PC David Rathband

A 7/7 survivor who grew close to Pc David Rathband before he split with his wife has told how she "loved him to bits".

Lisa French, 36, spoke about her relationship with Pc Rathband, 44, who was left blind after being shot by gunman Raoul Moat, a day after the former traffic officer's funeral.

In an interview with the Sun, she said the pair bonded after both going through life-changing experiences.

Ms French, who was on the No 30 bus that was bombed in London's Tavistock Square on July 7, 2005, told the newspaper: "He was a special man who made me happy. We just bonded after everything we had been through."

She added: "I loved him to bits - and he loved me."

The father of two, hailed a hero for his fund raising and his attempts to rebuild his life after losing his sight and a job he adored, hanged himself at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29.

Ms French, who spoke to him that day, told the newspaper: "Despite knowing he was serious about ending it all I really thought he would make it. I thought we would find a future together."

She said their first contact came last August on Twitter, when she responded to his tweets about how he was having trouble sleeping.

The pair began spending time together as his marriage broke down, the newspaper reported.

She said Pc Rathband often discussed his relationship with his wife Kath and she said she encouraged him to try to save his marriage.

Ms French was reportedly among hundreds of mourners who gathered at Stafford Crematorium yesterday to pay tribute to Pc Rathband.

His two teenage children, Ashley, 19, and Mia, 13, and their mother Mrs Rathband were also there.

His twin brother Darren, who lives in Australia, gave a moving eulogy in which he remembered his brother's supportive nature as they grew up together, and his recent struggle to live with his blindness.

But in what appeared to be a thinly-veiled attack on his widow, Mr Rathband said: "Sadly we are a broken family from his passing and there is grief in all of us.

"I hope that those who carry a burden after his death carry it with themselves and don't aim to lay that at his graveside."

Darren Rathband, who is also a police officer, had asked Mrs Rathband, 42, to stay away from the funeral and has criticised her for missing last Saturday's memorial service in Newcastle.


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