PC DAVID Rathband said he “won’t be giving Raoul Moat one thought” today on the first anniversary of the shooting that left the officer blind.
The courageous policeman was planning to spend the day away with his family – a year on since he was shot while in his police car by the on-the-run gunman.
Pc Rathband, speaking during a golf event in Durham in aid of his Blue Lamp Foundation, said he’d thought “long and hard” about what he was going to be doing today.
He said: “I thought about going back to work and listen to the police radio.
“But my mother-in-law is flying in and I want my family around me.”
He added: “I won’t be giving Raoul Moat one thought – not one thought.
“It might be different for my wife because she’s looking in parallel with what we were doing a year ago, but I won’t be giving him one moment of time.”
Pc Rathband, who has been based in Sunderland during his career with Northumbria Police, took to the greens in a game of golf to boost his charity.
Dragon’s Den millionaire Duncan Bannatyne took up the role of caddy for the day when the Pc joined a team of blind golfers on the course at Ramside Hall in Durham.
The event, followed by a black tie dinner, was the first in what could become an annual date in the calendar of the Blue Lamp Foundation, set up as he recovered from being shot twice by Moat.
The traffic officer joined colleagues, businessmen and friends for the game, when players competed for a trophy and a host of prizes, including a golf break in Portugal.
Pc Rathband said the day had been a “hoot”. He said: “It’s been amazing, I feel like it’s been my birthday, Christmas and wedding day and everything else.”
He explained how a representative of the English Blind Golf Association visited him at home after the Moat incident and set up a net in his garden.
The dad-of-two was reluctant to take a shot – but managed to hit the ball on the first strike and gained confidence from then on.
In addition to hotel and gym boss Mr Bannatyne, a patron of the charity, the dinner was attended by Denise Welch and Tim Healy, with BBC Radio Newcastle’s Alfie Joey taking to the stage as the night’s comedian and singer Jason Isaacs performing.
Tomorrow, Pc Rathband will publish Tango 190 which details his side of the incident when he was blinded by on-the-run killer Moat.
The foundation aims to raise £1million within three years to help support emergency service workers criminally injured in the line of duty.