Inquest opens: PC Rathband found hanged

AN inquest has heard that PC David Rathband was found hanging from the bannister of his Blyth home on Wednesday evening.

Officers from Northumbria Police attended the house on Heather Lea in Bebside, Blyth, and when they didn’t get a response gained entry through the patio door.

North Tyneside Coroner Eric Armstrong opened and adjourned the inquest on Friday morning, and after confirming the officer’s name, date of birth, address and occupation, read out brief details of the circumstances.

He said Inspector Dave Guthrie was on duty on the 29th in the company of a Sergeant when he received a radio message that concern was expressed for the welfare of PC Rathband.

The inquest heard that Inspector Guthrie attended his home address with other officers also in attendance and after no response from the house they entered through the patio door.

PC Rathband was then found hanged.

The cause of death was pressure on the neck, a result of being hanged.

The inquest was adjourned until a further date.

PC Rathband was left for dead by gunman Raoul Moat in July 2010.

He was shot at close range in his patrol car, on the roundabout linking the A69 and A1, and blinded before Moat went on the run in Rothbury.

His bravery, courage and determination was rewarded in September that year when he won Northeast Press’s (publishers of the Northumberland Gazette) Pride of Northumberland Role Model Award.