Tyne & Wear

Rothbury 'moves on' after Raoul Moat manhunt

When Morris Adamson was asked to make a film about how Rothbury coped in the aftermath of the Raoul Moat manhunt, he was keen to take the opportunity.

The Northumberland village became the focus of intense attention a year ago when the search for the gunman came to an end there when he shot himself after a six-hour stand-off with police.

Moat had shot his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and killed her boyfriend Chris Brown in Gateshead.

He then shot and blinded Pc David Rathband in his patrol car in Newcastle before going on the run.

As the first anniversary approaches of his death on 10 July, attention has again switched to Rothbury.

Mr Adamson, a butcher, accepted an offer from BBC Look North to make a film about what the year had been like for villagers.

He was assigned a cameraman and a producer and asked to put together a report.

He said: "I thought it was a little bit of a novel idea. The fact that we could tell our side of the story and make sure that the village came out of it in a good light.

"There is no getting away from the press that would be coming up to see us around the anniversary.

"I wanted to make sure that everyone knows we are not dwelling on it and that we are moving on.

"The village in my mind has moved on and it is very rarely talked about.

"It is part of history. We can't change it but we now want to move on."

'Tight community'

At the height of the attention, Mr Adamson said he had been fielding 12 calls a day from different media organisations.

Image caption Peter Aviston said the incident was rarely talked about in the village now

He said he had enjoyed the process of making the film and editing it and that he was pleased with the end result.

He said he had total compassion for Moat's victims but hoped the anniversary of the shootings passed quietly.

For his film he interviewed Peter Aviston, who was broadcast live on radio on the night Moat died describing the siege scene which he could see from his house.

Mr Aviston said: "It was very difficult I think for the first month or so after the event.

"But I think in the last six months, when I speak to people now, the issues are more about the routine life of living in Rothbury.

"To be honest very few people now talk about the incident that happened 12 months ago.

"I think it is a very tight community that has really pulled together, has moved on, it's looking at new things it's doing in terms of activities for the youngsters, new shops are opening all the time. It's a great place to live."

He said there were still "difficult memories", however.

He said he believed it was human nature that people visiting Rothbury wanted to ask about what had happened but that he was not interested in having a long discussion about it.

He said: "The reason for perhaps having a conversation now is to get across through the media the good side of Rothbury and the way it is still moving forwards and is always looking forwards rather than looking back."

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