Sunderland woman arrested for Rathband gun prank

Pc David Rathband
Pc David Rathband
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A WOMAN from Sunderland has been arrested accused of pretending to fire an imaginary gun at Pc David Rathband.

Police were called after a woman allegedly stood behind Pc Rathband, who was blinded by crazed gunman Raoul Moat, and pointed a pretend shotgun at him at Newcastle Crown Court.

The woman shouted “bang bang” at the officer, who has been attending the court for the trial of Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan.

Police arrested a 22-year-old woman who was there for an unrelated case.

She was arrested for a Section 5 Public Order offence – when a person uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour.

A man who witnessed the incident, but did not want to be named, said: “She held her arms up pretending to hold a shotgun and shouted “bang, bang”.

“She did it behind his back. It was absolutely shocking.”

Northumbria Police confirmed they arrested a 22-year-old woman at 10.25am yesterday. She has been bailed until next month, pending further inquiries.

On social network site Twitter, Pc Rathband yesterday tweeted: “It’s been an interesting day in court.”

Ness and Awan are jointly accused of conspiring with Moat to kill police officers, including Pc Rathband, who was shot twice in the face and blinded by the gunman as he sat in his patrol car.

Ness, 26, of Cramlington, denies the murder of Christopher Brown as well as conspiracy, firearm and robbery charges.

Awan, 23, of Blyth, denies conspiracy, robbery and firearm charges.