Tyne & Wear

Karl Ness 'believed gunman Raoul Moat had shot himself'

Raoul Moat
Image caption Raoul Moat went on the run for a week after the shootings

A man accused of helping Raoul Moat has told a court he thought the gunman had shot himself - when he had shot his ex-girlfriend and her partner.

Karl Ness told Newcastle Crown Court he believed that had been the case when Moat had in fact injured Samantha Stobbart and killed Chris Brown.

Mr Ness, 26, also said Moat had forced him to go with him after the shootings when he had turned up again with a gun.

He denies all charges, including murder and conspiracy to murder.

He told the court he had been with Moat in a van heading to Birtley, in Gateshead, where Moat's ex-partner Samantha Stobbart lived.

He said: "He put his hands between his legs on the floor and pulled out a gun.

"I was speechless. I was stuck, I couldn't get out."

'Heard screaming'

He said he had stayed in the van while Moat hid outside the property and later heard a shot.

"I thought he had killed himself. I heard a lot of screaming. I broke down, I was shaking, I was crying," he said.

He told the court he had driven off.

Later Moat turned up at the home of a relative of Mr Ness's girlfriend in Newcastle's West End.

He said he and his co-accused Qhuram Awan, 23, were summoned and Moat was waving a gun. Mr Ness's girlfriend was also there.

Moat explained in detail how he had shot Chris Brown three times and then shot Ms Stobbart.

'Had a gun'

He said Moat had ordered the pair to buy two phones and fill a car with petrol while his girlfriend stayed in the house with Moat.

Paul Sloan QC, defending, asked why he had not alerted the authorities and Mr Ness replied that he would be putting his girlfriend at risk.

When they came back, Mr Ness said he believed Moat would drive off alone but he told the court he had ordered both men to go with him.

Mr Sloan said: "Did you feel you had any choice in the matter?"

"He had a gun in his hand," Mr Ness said.

Moat died after a six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland, on 10 July.

He had been on the run after shooting Ms Stobbart and Mr Brown and blinding Pc David Rathband, 42, by shooting him in the face.

Mr Ness, of Brookside in Dudley, North Tyneside, denies the murder of Mr Brown, attempting to murder Pc Rathband, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one of robbing a shop.

Mr Awan, of Rowley Street in Blyth, Northumberland, denies the attempted murder of Pc Rathband, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one of robbing a shop.

The trial continues.

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