In an emotional speech at the funeral of the policeman, who was shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, Darren Rathband said:“I hope the memories of my brother, and Ashley and Mia’s father, are not tarnished by others that feel the need to set the record straight.
“Because the record is simply this: PC Rathband succumbed to his injuries and the struggle with life – having been shot by a coward who shall remain forgotten.”
Darren went on to describe the day-to-day life struggles David had to endure during the last eighteen months of his life, which he referred to as ‘borrowed time’.
“David was left at Heathrow during his connecting flight [to Australia] as they’d forgotten about him.
“He told me about sitting on the plane with almost 400 people being unable to find the sugar for his tea or butter for his bread, and although guided to the toilet, he was left to find the layout and the toilet seat with his hands.
“He sat on the plane not knowing whether the question, ‘Sir, would you like a meal?’ was directed at him or someone else. He did not eat.
“This was my brother’s new world and it certainly wasn’t first class.”
Speaking of Moat’s attack on David in Northumberland in 2010, Darren said:“How ironic that American Independence Day was the day he lost his independence, and I lost some of me.
Addressing the congregation, he added: “When you close your eyes tonight you will have just the thinnest idea of the dark life David had to endure.
“Some of us will question why, but try to understand his loneliness, the darkness he could not share with anyone.”