Published Monday, 10th April 2023
By James Cowen
(Image: Daily Mirror/Andy Commins)
The widow of PC David Rathband has spoken about how a new ITV drama about Raoul Moat is bringing back "pain" to her family.
Kath has explained her "frustration", to The Mirror, as 'The Hunt for Raoul Moat', is set to air.
The programme will document the manhunt that had the UK on hold in 2010.
Kath is wondering why her suffering is being broadcast after the birth of her first grandchild helped to build up the family's previously shattered lives.
Kath's PC husband David was shot in the face and blinded by Moat after he had gunned down his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and her boyfriend Chris Brown. David was 44 when he tragically took his own life just 19 months later, unable to cope with his horrific new life and injuries.
David was randomly shot by cop-hating Moat while he was sat in his police car in Newcastle.
His death left Kath, alongside children Mia, then 12, and son Ashley, 17, devastated. Now aged 24, Mia has a 15-month-old son Ronnie.
Kath, 53, told the media: "We talk to Ronnie about David all the time, we show him photos. Mia has a teddy bear that speaks in her dad's voice and we give that to him and let him hear his voice. Being a grandma to him is amazing, the best thing ever. He just brings so much joy to all of us, and I love it.
"But it is bittersweet, as David isn't here, and I know it is one of Mia's biggest regrets her dad won't be there for all of the milestones in her life. It troubles her hugely."
Ronnie's middle name is David, in memory of his late grandad.
She added: "When I read it the first emotions were sadness, disappointment, and worry for the kids. I appreciate them informing me – but what I say isn't going to change their decision. It is what it is, but I don't understand why they are doing this. What happened was so well documented. It's going to be painful for me and the kids.
"We have no intention of watching it, but it still has an impact as it's on social media, on newsfeed, it's everywhere again. The kids are proud to be their dad's children, but it can be hard for them because they carry his surname. They both have close circles of friends who are fully aware of what happened."
Kath explained that she feels the drama could raise questions over what happened: "All the 'what ifs', and 'if onlys' and how well-informed people were about Moat. If people had been a bit more proactive, might these things have not happened? We've moved past that because we've had to. It doesn't change anything, and it's not nice to be in your own head with all these questions.
"Every time I see Moat's picture, I am straight back to when it happened. And when that happens, it's like a video on repeat with no pause button. You've got no control over it at all and it's horrible."
Kath chose not to respond to the ITV email she received regarding the new drama.
"I think ITV would have been open to speaking to me – but had I voiced these concerns, I don't think it would have changed the outcome. Would that have made me feel worse? I don't know. If I had spoken to them, I would have asked what had driven the decision to make the programme and who would this benefit?
She continued: "Because I don't think it will benefit anyone apart from them. If the object is to inform, I don't think there is anything that could be said that hasn't been said already. Even if there was, I don't think this is the way to do it. And if it's going to be sensationalised, I don't think it should be given that platform.
"I'm not angry, because I think that's a wasted emotion. It isn't healthy. But none of us have come out unscathed. The kids lost their dad because of it, one of the most important figures in their lives, and they have grown up without him. They are also disappointed, and frustrated, by this. But they believe, as I do, that there's no point in going back.
"They are very focused on moving forward. We are really fortunate that we are such a close family and that we have travelled through this process together and have, and will always, support each other.
"A lot of that relationship is down to David, he was really family orientated, and we always had a good relationship with the kids. For me, I am just so proud Ashley and Mia are both so well-adjusted and positive, they are really nice people.
"It would have been totally understandable if they had not been, and don't get me wrong, it hasn't been easy. But as a family, we always encouraged them to show how you're feeling and talk about it. And I'm so proud of how far they've come."