the Prime Minister led tributes yesterday to the “extraordinarily brave” blinded policeman David Rathband who has been found dead at his home in a suspected suicide.
The 44-year-old father-of-two became another victim of gunman Raoul Moat, who blasted him twice in the face as he sat unarmed in his patrol car in July 2010.
Pc Rathband’s body was discovered in Blyth, Northumberland, on Wednesday night after officers received a report of concern for his welfare.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said no-one was being sought in connection with the incident.
David Cameron said: “I met David, he was an extraordinarily brave man, and after his horrific injuries he did an enormous amount for charities and for other injured police officers, and for families who had lost police officers in the line of duty.”
The injured policeman set up Pc David Rathband’s Blue Lamp Foundation to help members of the emergency services injured by a criminal act while at work.
Patron Duncan Bannatyne, the entrepreneur and TV star, said Pc Rathband took painkillers to cope with the agony of his facial injuries. “If it wasn’t for that, he would have coped with his blindness,” he said.
Well-wisher Paul Garner, who left flowers at the officer’s home, said Pc Rathband was Raoul Moat’s last victim.
Former bouncer Moat was the subject of a huge manhunt as he evaded capture for a week before shooting himself dead after a stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland.
On July 3 2010, he had shot and injured his former partner Samantha Stobbart, 22, and killed her new boyfriend, Chris Brown, 29. The following day, Moat crept up on Pc Rathband in his car at a roundabout above the A1.