Show of unity at Rathband service

Herald Series: Northumbria Police chief constable Sue Sim holds hands with Kath Rathband, the widow of Pc David Rathband, at his memorial service Northumbria Police chief constable Sue Sim holds hands with Kath Rathband, the widow of Pc David Rathband, at his memorial service

The widow of Pc David Rathband has been embraced by his commanding officer at a memorial service.

Northumbria Police chief constable Sue Sim threw her arms around Kath Rathband when she arrived at St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, with her children Ashley, 19, and Mia, 13.

In a show of unity, they then walked hand-in-hand into the memorial service past an honour guard of more than 70 uniformed officers.

The mother of two has endured a difficult week in which she attended the fallen officer's funeral on Saturday, despite being told by his brother to stay away.

Darren Rathband said his twin had told him he did not want her there.

The service, organised by Northumbria Police, was an opportunity for Pc Rathband's friends and comrades within the force to pay their last respects.

It was attended by hundreds of mourners, including the dead Pc's friends and family and policing minister Nick Herbert.

Pc Rathband, 44, who was shot by gunman Raoul Moat in 2010, hanged himself at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, on February 29.

He had battled to rebuild his life after being blinded by Moat and became a national figure after setting up the Blue Lamp Foundation, which helps 999 personnel injured in the line of duty.

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