David Rathband inquest: Shot PC’s affair with 7/7 survivor ‘ended marriage’

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First posted on Antidepaware

Aidan Radnedge

Monday 6 Jan 2014 10:41 pm

The troubled police officer shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat killed himself after having an affair with a survivor of the 7/7 London terror attacks, his inquest heard.

David Rathband was distraught that his wife, Kath, was refusing to take him back after he cheated on her with Lisa French.

The 44-year-old bombarded his wife with 100 calls a day, sent her threatening and abusive messages and, on one occasion, told her: ‘I will swing before you receive a penny.’

But, although she had forgiven previous affairs, his wife told the inquest his latest infidelity had killed off their marriage. The mother-of-two said: ‘This was the one and only occasion I felt me and the kids had had enough.’

Mr Rathband had struggled with depression after being blinded by Moat in July 2010, the inquest in Newcastle heard.

In August 2011, the former traffic officer moved out of the family home after an angry bust-up which led to the police being called.

But Mrs Rathband said that, even while living apart, they remained ‘a couple’ until she found out about his relationship with Ms French over Christmas 2011.

Five days before he died in February 2012, Mr Rathband called his wife from Australia, pretending to be a police officer announcing his death, saying: ‘You will see a fluorescent jacket at the door.’

She last saw her husband the evening before he died and found him looking ‘awful’ having hardly eaten and taken too much medication.

Police found him hanging when they broke into his home in Blyth, Northumberland, the next day.

Ms French, who was injured in the bus bomb blast in Tavistock Square in 2005, told the inquest Mr Rathband was in ‘a dark place’ but tended to speak of self-harm only as ‘something he would consider in the future, not immediately’.

Before shooting Mr Rathband, former nightclub bouncer Moat shot and injured his ex-girlfriend and killed her new boyfriend. He shot himself dead after a week-long manhunt. The inquest continues.