Tyne & Wear

Raoul Moat accused 'feared execution'

Raoul Moat
Image caption Moat died after a six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July

A man accused of helping Raoul Moat said he feared he would have been executed if he had alerted police.

Qhuram Awan, 23, told Newcastle Crown Court he drove the car away after Moat shot Pc David Rathband.

Asked by his barrister Peter Carter-Manning QC why he had not tried to stop Moat by telling police, Mr Awan said he though Moat would be shot or arrested.

He denies charges including the attempted murder of Pc Rathband and conspiracy to murder.

Mr Awan told the court he first met Moat after the 37-year-old had shot his ex-partner Samantha Stobbart and killed her partner Chris Brown.

'Lost his mind'

Responding to the question about why he had not alerted police, he said he thought Moat would either be shot or get arrested.

He said: "I was happy for him to be arrested while we were there because if he was arrested and there was no information that we had grassed him up then we were safe.

"If not then at any point during his jail sentence he could make a telephone call or during a visit he could get an execution ordered."

Mr Awan told the court he realised Moat had "lost his mind" when he shot Pc Rathband.

He said he was ordered to park his black Lexus on a slip road leading to a roundabout off the A1 in Newcastle and watched Moat run towards the police patrol car.

He heard two gunshots and then saw Moat running back to the car.

'Childish laugh'

He told the court Moat told him to drive but he was frozen and put his foot down when he felt something in the back of his seat.

He said: "There was no conversation but Raoul was laughing to himself.

"It was like a childish laugh, he was giggling.

"When I drove past the police car I saw the smashed window and that's when I assumed he had shot Pc Rathband.

"I thought 'he's just shot a police officer so to him I'm just a rabbit. He could kill a rabbit easily'."

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

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

Karl Ness, 26, of Brookside in Dudley, North Tyneside, denies the murder of Mr Brown, attempting to murder Pc Rathband, conspiracy to murder, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and robbery.

The trial continues.

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