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PC Rathband Funeral Took Place Today

March 17, 2012

The funeral service for PC David Rathband has begun in Stafford.

PC Rathband, who was shot and blinded by Raoul Moat, was found dead at his home in Northumberland on 29 February.

The policeman grew up in Stafford and his family said that it was his wish to be buried in the town.

The public memorial service began at about 12:00 GMT at Stafford Crematorium on Tixall Road following a funeral procession that started at his sister’s house.

‘A lot of tears’

Following the service the officer’s family will hold a private burial, where PC Rathband will be laid to rest next to his 18-year-old niece Naomi Essery, who died in 2002.

BBC reporter Chris King said: “The coffin was taken into the crematorium to the sound of Monty Python’s Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

“On the side of the hearse Tango 190 – his police call sign – was written out in orange flowers.”

PC Rathband’s cap and uniform stripes were on top of the coffin and a wreath showed the emblem of Northumbria Police.

More than 100 members of the public had come to pay their respects by about 11:00 GMT.

Police were joined by members of the fire service who marched from their headquarters on Weston Road to the crematorium, where police formed a guard of honour outside the front entrance.

“I think the day will hold a lot of tears for a lot of people,” said PC Rathband’s twin brother, Darren.

“It’s a chance for everybody to come and pay their respects and send David off. I just hope that people do turn out and show that it wasn’t for nothing.

“It’s got to be for something other than a coward that shot him.”

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