Blinded Pc relives Moat shooting
The police officer injured by Raoul Moat has described how the gunman stared coldly into his eyes moments before he shot him in the face - leaving him blind.
Pc David Rathband spoke of his ordeal after an inquest into 37-year-old Moat's death heard that armed police fired two Tasers at the steroid-addicted former nightclub doorman to stop him taking his own life.
Pc Rathband, who has been told that he had lost the sight in both eyes, recalled the moment he was shot through the window of his marked car at a roundabout in East Denton, Newcastle, in the early hours of July 4.
The 42-year-old said: "I looked into his eyes and I saw nothing - no emotion. Then I felt the pain full-on in my face. I knew my right eye socket had just exploded and my eye had gone," he told The Sun.
Bleeding heavily, the officer "played dead", fearing that Moat was still close by. "I was trying to not make a noise even though there was blood everywhere in my nose and throat," he said. But he managed to whisper into his radio for help as he lay slumped in the footwell.
Pc Rathband said he asked a medic to deliver a final message to his wife and two children: "I said to the guy in the ambulance 'Will you please tell my wife and children that I love them - I'm going to die'."
Moat went on the run after killing his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart's new lover, Chris Brown, 29, and seriously injuring her.
The next day he blasted Pc Rathband and fled. A huge manhunt was launched, leading to Moat's last stand in Rothbury, Northumberland, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A senior probation officer called today for offenders serving short sentences - such as Moat - to be given support when they leave prison.
Diane Fulbrook, a director of the Probation Chiefs Association, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "It's an indication of a man who was clearly in quite a high level of distress when he was in prison and yet there was that lack of support on his release."