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Police officer blinded by crazed killer Raoul Moat found dead at home

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rathmoat230A BRITISH police officer shot and blinded as he faced a crazed gunman shooting up an English town has been found dead at his home.

David Rathband, 44, used Twitter to post a disturbing message about how he was struggling to cope with both his blindness and the break-up of his marriage.

The officer was seriously injured by killer Raoul Moat in July 2010 as he sat in his patrol car in Newcastle. It came a day after Moat had shot two other people, one fatally.

He had been left with more than 200 shotgun pellets lodged in his skull.

In a BBC interview last September Pc Rathband revealed how he was struggling to adapt to being blind.

He said: “I have spoken to quite a few people over the last few months and everybody tells me that you have got 10 years before you realise you can deal with being blind.

“At the moment I can't even see the next 12 months.”

Last night a Northumbria police spokesman confirmed Pc Rathband had been found dead at his home.

He said: “At around 7pm officers received a report of concern for the welfare of PC David Rathband at this home in Blyth.

“Officers attended the scene alongside ambulance services and he was found inside. He was declared dead at the scene.”

Last November, Pc Rathband, 44, announced on Twitter that he had split from his wife Kath, 41, after 20 years.

He had flown back to the UK at the weekend after a four-week trip to Australia where he had surgery to remove pieces of shrapnel from his face.

He had spent time with his brother Darren, who lives in the country.

Just hours before he was due to fly home he revealed on Twitter that final efforts to rescue his marriage had failed. In one, he revealed that ‘Mrs R’ just wanted to be friends.

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.”

PC Rathband with killer Moat inset

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