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Anorak | PC David Rathband you legend: Raoul Moat victim’s brave suicide

PC David Rathband you legend: Raoul Moat victim’s brave suicide

by | 1st, March 2012

PA 11094884 PC David Rathband you legend: Raoul Moat victims brave suicide

DAVID Rathband has, apparently, killed himself at his home on Blyth, Northumberland. The policeman shot in the face and blinded by half-French murderer,  Facebook legend, dick-head magnet and media hero Raoul Moat – who was Tasered (to death?) by the police – has hanged himself. Has Moat killed from “beyond the grave” again?

The media reacts:

The Sun (front page): “MOAT COP ‘SUICIDE’ – Blinded Rathband found dead at home”

It is the “torment of tragic hero“.

Hero? PC Rathband was shot in the face by a nutter the media loved. Does that make him a hero? What is heroic about being shot in the face by a fugitive?

David Rathband wrote a book about his ordeal. Tango 190 was serialised this week in The Sun:

Just as I headed out I got stopped by my neighbour, Jim, who said: “Have you heard about the shooting?” I had but little did I realise that I’d never see Jim again…

He said: “Have you seen who they are looking for on that murder? It’s Moat.” I couldn’t believe it. A chill ran down my spine. We had previous…

I’d taken an instant dislike to Moat but that was copper’s instinct. I felt uncomfortable with him in a way that I have previously only ever felt with one other member of the public, who just happened to be a psychotic schizophrenic. Moat had a massive, steroid-enhanced body that took up two seats in the car, with his little round head and bulging eyes…

Now I wish I had never set eyes on him — but I would take his car off him again tomorrow, because that’s the kind of policeman I am…

…At around 4.50pm my colleague Chris Dodds and I were given a job to head out to The Keelman pub near Newburn Leisure Centre. The caller had been drinking with Moat all day.

“This sounds like a bloody crock of s**t, this does. Why are we going down? We’re bloody traffic cops and we’re not armed,” I said to Chris. Nevertheless we agreed to go — but it quickly turned out to be a hoax.

He seemed to blame the police:

…I know now that we were looking for the wrong car. We’d been told to look for a blue BMW but he was driving a black Lexus. Wrong vehicle and, for me, wrong set of senses tuned in. I had seen that black Lexus drive round the roundabout where I was stationary but not really clocked the fact that it had one of those dodgy exhausts which automatically draws attention to itself…

Moat had taken full advantage of the bad info out there. Once he had spotted me, he had his target.

..In the car I had decided to give it until a quarter to one and then call it a night. I’d had a sneaky fag inside the car and waved to a passing paramedic…

There was a metallic tink on the glass. It was such an unusual sound but one that will stay with me for ever…

There was a white flash of light from the barrel and that was the last thing I saw. My lights went out, I would never see true daylight again.

Hideous. An unarmed man shot by a known armed villain.

In The Independent the nodding heads wade in:

Prime Minister David Cameron, who had met the officer, today described him as an “extraordinarily brave man” who did “an enormous amount for charity”.

He did a lot for charity after being blinded. But is suicided, as it appears, an act of extraordinary bravery? Most often, suicide is said to be the coward’s way out, an act that is against nature and god.

Home Secretary Theresa May also paid tribute to Rathband saying, “I had the privilege of meeting Pc David Rathband. He was a brave and fine policeman. My thoughts are with his family.”

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:

“This is deeply sad news of the loss of a very brave police officer. PC Rathband showed extraordinary bravery and determination both during the horrific events in the summer of 2010, and afterwards in overcoming the attack to set up his charity to help others.”

Brave? Suicide is brave? Being shot in the face and living is extraordinary. Pc Rathband was an ordinary bloke in an extraordinary situation not of his making. He appears to have killed himself. Why is that brave? Up until the The Suicide Act 1961, suicide was illegal.The BBC has advice on suicide. And nowhere does it call it courageous:

People often attempt to commit suicide when they feel they’ve nothing to live for. Everyone has something to live for. Things change; they get better. Get clued-up on suicide here, including what to do if you’re considering it or if a friend tells you they want to die…

What is it?

Suicide means deliberately ending our own life

19,000 people aged 15-24 attempt suicide each year in the UK. About 800 die as a result. Girls are more likely to attempt suicide than boys.

Why do people commit suicide?

Often, they have been feeling stressed or down for some time. Things like family problems, exam pressure or bullying can make us unhappy. We feel despair..

Isn’t it our own right to die?

Suicide is not illegal, but that doesn’t mean there are no victims. The impact on our friends and families is devastating and lasts forever. Helping someone else to end their life is illegal.

I wish I was dead?…

Most of us have felt this way at some point. It is frightening and confusing when you see no way out, and it’s easy to think that dying will make us feel better. It won’t. There is an alternative. You have a future and a lot to offer in life. Your circumstances have just got in the way. Hopelessness never lasts forever. Ask for help loudly and clearly. The NHS does not encourage suicide nor call it brave:

The NHS says:

Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your life. If you are reading this because you are feeling suicidal, it is important that you seek help immediately.

The Church of England says:

The Church of England is opposed to any change in the law, or medical practice, to make assisted suicide permissible or acceptable.

So. Institutions of State are not in favour of suicide. It is not seen as a sign of bravery. It is seen as evidence of failure. David Cameron has made joke of suicide:

It has been reported that at a private party in his Commons office on Tuesday evening to thank MPs and staff for their work on the local and Euro elections campaigns, Cameron asked guests to imagine standing on Beachy Head with a Labour activist and a Lib Dem. Which would they decide to push over the edge first? “The Labour guy….Because it’s business before pleasure”.

It has been reported that at a private party in his Commons office on Tuesday evening to thank MPs and staff for their work on the local and Euro elections campaigns, Cameron asked guests to imagine standing on Beachy Head with a Labour activist and a Lib Dem. Which would they decide to push over the edge first? “The Labour guy….Because it’s business before pleasure”.

The police are not in favour of suicide. When Raoul Moat pointed a gun at his own chin, police tasered him in the hope – presumably – that he would asnwer for his crimes and not die first. Only, the electric jolts might have caused him to twitch and blow his brains out – twice. Was Moat’s suicide brave?

The Sun once reported:

THE schoolboy son of an aristocrat pal of David Cameron shot himself dead over a lover’s tiff as police tried to talk him out of suicide. Troubled Alexander Codrington, 16, had been speaking to cops on his girlfriend’s mobile for an hour when a bang sounded on the phone at 5.20am.

So. How did committing suicide became an act of bravery? When did “troubled” become “brave”?

The Press Association reports:

After the attack, the policeman launched his own charity, the Blue Lamp Foundation, which aims to help emergency service personnel injured in the line of duty. Pc Rathband announced on Twitter in November that he and his wife Kath were separating permanently. A spokesman for the Blue Lamp Foundation said: “Since being shot in July 2010, David struggled to come to terms with his horrific injuries and the traumatic effect they had on him and his family and friends. The foundation was started by David to help emergency services personnel injured in the line of duty as the result of a criminal act. It was David’s wish that those who found themselves in a similar position to him could receive the support that wasn’t available to him at the time.”

In the Express & Star, someone who actually knew Mr Rathband says:

Mr Blackley, aged 56, said: “I am absolutely devastated by this news. I just can’t believe it.

“I spoke to him and kept in touch with him. David had been out in Australia with his brother and had only just returned yesterday or the day before. My wife and I are still good friends with his wife Kath even though they split up.

“He has done a lot of charity work.

He added: “David was a referee and I met him when he was 16 – I used to be his mentor as a referee. I just took him under my wing really. He was just a joker and a good character. Even with what happened he was an inspiration. I remember one charity event I did – he went round thanking everyone for what they did. That was the kind of person he was. It’s just so sad.”

It’s just so sad. Forget the politician’s cod praise. It’s just so sad…



Posted: 1st, March 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (15) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink