Wife of tragic policeman blinded by Moat won’t attend cathedral service

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The widow of blinded Pc David Rathband will not attend a cathedral service organised by his twin brother which is taking place today, she said yesterday.

Kath Rathband issued a statement which said she will be at the funeral a week later and a memorial service two days later in Newcastle. But she will not be at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle for the noon service today, which has been arranged by Darren Rathband, 44.

In a statement issued for her by Northumbria Police, the mother-of-two said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Northumbria Police for the care and support they have given and continue to give to myself, Ash and Mia. In these extremely difficult times for myself and our children, we want to be able to grieve in private and out of the media spotlight and we request that everyone respects this.”

The two separate cathedral ceremonies were organised for different parts of Pc Rathband’s family, relatives revealed last week. The 44-year-old, blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on March 2.

The father of Mia, 13, and Ashley, 19, was understood to be heartbroken by the end of his marriage.

Top politicians and dignitaries are expected to attend today’s service, which has been called “a celebration of Pc Rathband’s life”.