Widow of policeman shot by Moat to defy her brother-in-law by attending funeral service

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The widow of Pc David Rathband will attend his funeral today – despite being told by his brother to stay away.

Darren Rathband said his twin told him he did not want Kath, 42, to be there.

Mrs Rathband split from the former Northumbria Police traffic officer last year, after he grew close to 7/7 bombing survivor Lisa French, 36.

And since his death she has been caught in a bitter war of words with his family.

Her spokesman, PR guru Max Clifford, said yesterday: “Darren Rathband contacted Kath through her son Ashley and said he does not want her to go to the funeral and that David would not have wanted her to go.

“But she always intended to go and will be there tomorrow.

“She has spoken to her children and they very much want her to be there.

“Don’t forget Kath was speaking to David right up until the day he died.

“Although they were estranged, they were still very, very close. They had been married for 20 years,” added Mr Clifford.

Darren Rathband, who is also a policeman, had criticised Kath for missing last Saturday’s memorial service in Newcastle, which was attended by the couple’s children, Ashley, 19, and Mia, 13. In a statement issued through Northumbria Police, Kath had said she would not attend the memorial but would be at the funeral in Staffordshire and at a special service at St Nicholas’ Cathedral in Newcastle on Monday.

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Sue Sim said she will not be at the funeral, after Pc Rathband’s family asked that no senior officers attend.

A spokesman said: “Her thoughts, and those of the force, will be with David’s family and friends on Saturday.”

The Chief Constable will lead the force memorial service on Monday at St Nicholas’ Cathedral in Newcastle.

Pc Rathband, 44, who was shot by gunman Raoul Moat in 2010, hanged himself at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29.

He had battled to rebuild his life after being blinded by Moat and became a national figure after setting up the Blue Lamp Foundation, which helps 999 personnel injured in the line of duty.

Moat had opened fire after finding Pc Rathband parked in his patrol car after he went on the run after attacking his former girlfriend and her new partner. The fugitive shot himself after a stand-off with police.