Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I'm Happier Now Than I've Ever Been - and I'm Absolutely Sure David Would Be Happy for Me'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I'm Happier Now Than I've Ever Been - and I'm Absolutely Sure David Would Be Happy for Me'

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Robson Reporter

THE widow of police officer David Rathband has found new love.

Kath Rathband married prison officer John McGee in a ceremony attended by 75 guests.

Her late husband was shot and blinded by fugitive gunman Raoul Moat but later moved out of the family home and hanged himself.

Now Kath, 46, has moved on from the pain.

No members of David's family, except for the couple's two children, were present at the wedding.

She said: "I'm happier now than I ever have been - and I'm absolutely sure David would be happy for me.

"When things were really bad, I could not envisage being as happy as I am now.

"I met David when I was very young and I loved him completely but we had a lot of challenges within our marriage.

"It was complex because we had two children. There were lots of invisible threads holding us together. "With John, it's a lot more straightforward. We're together because we choose to be - and it's lovely to know John is with me simply because he wants to be."

Kath and John were married at the South Causey Inn in Stanley, County Durham.

They met on a blind date at a pub in Cramlington, Kath's home town, and John moved into the home she used to share with David about a year later.

Their marriage marks a new beginning after the tragedy of David's shooting and his death.

His death caused a rift with David's side of the family which has not healed.

She said: "Today is the start of a new chapter. I've moved forward. I don't have a relationship with them and neither do my children.

"Of course we still talk about David. He is the children's dad and I was with him for a long time. John totally respects that."

The ceremony was attended by Kath and David's son Ashley - who has become a special constable following in his dad's footsteps - and their daughter Mia who acted as a bridesmaid.

Kath said: "David would have been so proud of both Ashley and Mia. I was really proud Ashley made the decision to become a special constable after everything that has happened.

"Of course, I had reservations but I had to keep those to myself. I didn't want to ruin the moment for him. …

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