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article imageUK policeman blinded by Moat not bitter

By Lynn Curwin     Jul 21, 2010 in Crime
The police officer blinded by deceased murderer Raoul Moat said he feels no bitterness toward the gunman. Pc David Rathband lost the sight in both eyes after Moat shot him in the face.
The unarmed officer had been sitting in a marked patrol car, which was parked on a roundabout, when he was shot.
Rathband, 42, told his story in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live. He talked about how he saw Rathband jogging toward his car, and realizing that the man had a gun in his hand.
“I looked up and as I was looking at him he just pointed the gun forward, sort of towards the car window on the passenger side, and the next thing I felt was my face just explode,” he recalled.
He remembers how much the noise hurt, and that he felt his right eye being destroyed and knew he would be blind in that eye.
He was thrown into the footwall of the car and wanted to press a button for help, but Moat shot at him a second time. He put up his arm and the second shot hit him in the shoulder. After that he decided that he should play dead.
Rathband and a colleague had met Moat previously. They stopped him last year because his van was loaded with scrap metal and he was not licenced to carry metal; meaning his vehicle was uninsured. He said that he found Moat to be “manipulative very angry” at that time.
Rathband said he is grateful that Moat was not able to kill him, because he is sure that was the gunman’s intention.
“I’m angry that he took my sight,” he told Derbyshire. “I’m not angry that he shot me. I’m not bitter toward him as an individual.”
He said he's angry he did not take steps to avoid being blinded.
He thanked well-wishers for the cards and messages he has received since the shooting.
“I’ll be bouncing back one day soon,” he said.
He will rely on his wife, children, and other family members, for support; and plans to keep working for the Northumbria police force.
Moat shot his ex-lover, killed her boyfriend and shot Rathband before going on the run and, eventually, shooting himself dead.
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