David Rathband: Raoul Moat was ‘evil’ Voldemort and Daily Express wants his Facebook fans dead
RAOUL Moat: Anorak’s look at the death of Pc David Rathband and the man who shot him in the news…
The Sun (front page): “Moat still haunts me like Voldemort”
To help readers understand that Raoul Moat – a murderous thugs turned into a media folk hero – is like the Harry Potter villain – a work of fiction – the Sun shows thumbnail portraits of both men. Moat is a “monster”. Voldemort is “evil”. We hear from David Rathband – an ordinary man tossed into an extraordinary situation who then, apparently, took his own life:
“I may be blind but I can still see Moat’s face… It’s more of a melted face now — like the evil Voldemort from the Harry Potter films. The strange thing is that while I can see Moat in my mind, I have no recollection of how my wife or children look whatsoever. They are as featureless as an orange to me, and that’s what hurts the most. The doctors have no idea if my memories of my family will ever come back. Sure I can hear their voices and have a cuddle, but I can’t see their smiles which instantly cheers you up. I can’t even remember Christmas Days with them — it’s all gone. It’s very lonely in here every day, living in the darkness without having the images of my family for company.”
Pc Rathband endured a horror. And it seems to have eaten away at him until he took his own life.
The Daily Mirror says David Rathband was hero.
Daily Mirror (frontpage): “Pc Rathband suicide tragedy – ‘I’m Going to Say Goodbye To Me Kids – RIP Me’
His final agony was revealed as glowing tributes were paid to the hero traffic cop whose life fell apart after he was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat
Tormented David Rathband killed himself because he could not come to terms with the end of his 20-year marriage…
He tweeted: “Mrs R said we are not getting back. Disaster. So job lost, eyes lost, family lost, wife lost, marriage lost. What a year.”
He added: “RIP David Rathband. I am flying home Monday and will say goodbye to the children.”
In his last messages, PC Rathband told how he had repeatedly been trying to get in touch with Kath, saying: “Mrs R just wants to be friends.”
He also wrote: “I wonder if I will have any furniture left in the house when I get back?”
Who would be Mrs Rathband having to read that? Does she think her husband “extraordinarily brave”, as marketing man-cum Prime Minister David Cameron lazily labelled him?
But he blamed himself for the break-up, adding: “Just to put the record straight, I have behaved horribly to my wife since I was shot. That is why it is over.”
Mr Rathband leaves behind his daughter Mia, 13, and 20-year-old Ashley in Blyth, Northumberland. Shouldn’t we feel for them, their lives now public property and bereft of a father?
His brother Darren wrote an article a few week ago:
“He will never ask for help, and continues to try and display that he is coping. I tell you that he is broken and lonely in his world without light. “
Chief Constable Sue Sim said:
“I was hugely impressed with him even then when he was so horribly injured. The only thing he wanted to do was to get back on duty. We have worked tirelessly to bring him back into our road safety unit… People across the force are devastated that one of our own has been so tragically taken from us. He is Raoul Moat’s final victim.”
Mr Rathband’s sister Debbie is less opportunistic. She said:
“In my heart of hearts I can never, never forgive Raoul Moat. But what he did is just one of a number of contributing factors that have led to this.”
“MOAT KILLS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE”
If sensation is all tabloids do, when the big news hits, where is there left to go?
Daily Express: “FAREWELL TO A BRAVE MAN”
SOMETIMES an issue arises that serves as a stark dividing line between civilised people and savage ones. The various reactions there have been to the death of Pc David Rathband constitute a prime example.
All decent people will agree with the Prime Minister that Pc Rathband was extraordinarily brave. his death is the last act in a tragedy that saw his life destroyed by Raoul Moat, an evil and violent man who has attained an illdeserved notoriety among the criminal classes.
Evil is a strong word. So too are the words “extraordinarily brave”, an echo of Cameron’s tribute. Is it fair or right to so judge Mr Rathband?
In the 18 months after he was blinded by Moat, Pc Rathband did enormous amounts for charitable and community causes. if in the end he found his debilitating condition impossible to live with nobody could criticise him for that. Moat on the other hand caused only misery and suffering wherever he went. Britain would be a far better place if everyone who has ever expressed admiration for him were to be swept into the sea.
Anyone who admired Raoul Moat should drown? A national newspaper wants Siobhan O’Dowd to die? The Express wants Teresa Bystram (one of the Sun’s own) dead and her children left motherless? Does Paul Gascoigne have to die? Is there a special hatred for the man who shot his ex-lover and then murdered her boyfriend before ruining Mr Rathband’s life, and that of his wife and children, as it seems? The media played its part in the Raoul Moat legend. The Daily Star, the Express’s sister paper, even turned Moat into a video game character.
The Express hunts the web and finds a story:
VILE bloggers took to the internet within hours of PC Rathband’s death to post sickening comments about the blinded officer while praising killer Raoul Moat. The Facebook page, RIP Raoul Moat, was flooded with foul-mouthed insults led by Garry Wright who praised Moat as a “legend” for “slaying” the policeman. Paul Suntson wrote “One less pig to worry about”.
If the Express has its way, Pauyl Suntson will soon be swept into the sea.
The Mail recalls the Rathband it met not long after the was shot:”I don’t want to sit under a blanket and listen to Radio 4 all day. If I am treated differently to others when I get back to work, I will object. If there is a lift I will go in a lift; if there are stairs I will use them. No big shakes. When my life gets back to normal, other than the fact I am blind, this will all have been a blip.”
What of Samantha Stobbart, Moat’s ex whom he shot first? In October 2010, Sue Reid wrote in the Mail:
Samantha Stobbart has been dubbed the ‘most hated’ woman in the North-East. She is blamed for provoking police-loathing Moat — who had just left Durham jail after a two-month sentence for child assault — to murder her 29-year-old lover Chris Brown by saying he was a policeman.
In a further worrying twist, the Berkshire family of Chris Brown believe that Durham jail gave the police a warning that Moat intended to harm his ex-girlfriend when he left prison because he thought she was courting a copper. They fear that this vital piece of information was not acted upon.
Now, David Rathband says: ‘I will never ever forgive Samantha for lying to Moat about seeing a policeman. I hold her as much responsible for what happened to me as I do Raoul Moat. That is exactly what the family of her new boyfriend Chris Brown think too.
What about the police, so quick to blame it all on Raoul Moat?
TV producer Michael Winner, chairman of the Police Memorial Trust, said: “There is no great support for these people in my experience. I also know from dealing with the families of police officers that not many get the support from the police or anybody else after the event.”
Winner, who was in touch with Rathband following his injury, added: “You can always do more and the police could learn from this but I’m not sure what more they could have done other than send round counsellors and psychiatrists. But after these people leave, he is still alone and his situation has not changed.”
The death of David Rathband is a terrible tragedy. He was a police hero, full of integrity, selflessness and respect. He had a loving family and a great future ahead of him. Then along came Raoul Moat, the gun-toting thug who decided to go on a shooting spree. He blasted David in the face, leaving him blind… His life is proof of the incredible bravery every British police officer shows. They put their lives on the line each day to protect us. And some, like David, make the ultimate sacrifice. We must never forget that bravery. It will be David’s legacy.
The police are in the dock. Mr Rathband’s death has been turned into a tale of policing by a voracious media and his life into an example by a self-serving political elite who seem to be saying that suicide is heroic and brave. A man is dead. There is no glory. There is only pain.