Tyne & Wear

Summing up in trial of men accused of aiding Raoul Moat

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

A judge has begun summing up in the trial of two men accused of helping gunman Raoul Moat.

Karl Ness, 26 and Qhuram Awan, 23, deny charges connected with the shootings carried out by Moat last July.

High Court judge, The Honourable Mr Justice McCombe, said the Newcastle Crown jury had to decide whether the men were Moat's "willing henchmen".

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

Mr Ness and Mr Awan claim they were held hostage by the former doorman during his rampage.

Ness, 26, of Dudley, North Tyneside, is alleged to have been with Moat on the night he shot and killed karate expert Chris Brown, 29.

Moat then turned his gun on his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, leaving her fighting for her life in hospital as mechanic and tree surgeon Ness waited nearby.

Part-time mechanic and doorman Mr Awan, of Blyth, Northumberland, is alleged to have helped the pair afterwards by driving a getaway car.

The pair have told the hearing they went along with Moat's demands because they feared for their lives and those of their families.

Conspiracy charge

The judge said: "You probably think it is abundantly clear that Raoul Moat murdered Chris Brown, attempted to murder Pc Rathband, and robbed a fish and chip shop with a shotgun.

"The question is to decide whether either or both of the defendants also plotted to help. This is not a trial of Raoul Moat; it is the trial of Qhuram Awan and Karl Ness."

Mr Ness 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 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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