Tyne & Wear

Fugitive gunman Raoul Moat vowed to 'go down shooting'

Gunman Raoul Moat, who shot one person dead and wounded two others, vowed to go down shooting rather than go back to jail, an inquest has heard.

He sparked a week-long manhunt after shooting dead Chris Brown, his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.

In a recorded message read to the inquest into his death in Newcastle, he said he would "take the shoot-out".

His estranged brother Angus Moat told the hearing police should have let him talk to the gunman, during a stand-off.

Moat was cornered by police in Rothbury, Northumberland, and died on 10 July.

The inquest was shown aerial footage of the scene shortly before Moat's death taken from a police helicopter.

'Better than death'

Giving evidence on the second day of the hearing, Angus Moat, who had not seen his brother for at least seven years, said police should have let him help during the stand-off.

He said police should have thrown the killer a mobile telephone so he could "talk him down".

He said: "My mam had been to the press that week and had been on the front pages saying Raoul would be better off dead. I completely disagreed with that.

"Raoul thought everybody in his own family would be against him and I wanted to show him that was not the case.

Image caption Angus Moat had not seen his brother Raoul for several years

"I thought if I could speak to him it could change the way he was feeling and the way he would act.

"My view was that going to prison for the rest of his life would be better than death."

After killing Mr Brown, Moat shot and badly injured his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and PC David Rathband.

He recorded a message a few days before he was cornered in Rothbury.

It was read out to the hearing by Supt Jim Napier, the Northumbria Police officer in charge of the criminal investigation into Moat's rampage.

In the message, the gunman said he had lost the only two people who mattered to him - his grandmother and Miss Stobbart.

He said if he returned to jail he would have "nothing to come out to" and that a shoot-out would mean "everybody's happy".

'Waste of a life'

In the message, Moat said: "I have come out (of prison) and got my vengeance.

"I have set Sam up for life, financially at least. But it is not really what I want.

"It would be a waste of a life and a waste of the taxpayers' money.

"Just take the shoot-out and everybody's happy."

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

The jury also heard from the killer's best friend, Anthony Wright, who said Miss Stobbart had deliberately wound up Moat, by ending their relationship in a telephone call to him while he was in prison.

Mr Wright, who had known Moat for 14 years while they worked as doormen, said it was "almost inevitable" that Moat would seek out Miss Stobbart's new boyfriend Chris Brown when he was released.

Mr Wright: "If you knew Raoul it was like a red rag to a bull. I couldn't work out why she was saying it."

The inquest, which is expected to last for four weeks, will focus on the events in Rothbury on 9 and 10 July when Moat was cornered by police, the coroner David Mitford said.

On Monday, the first day of the hearing, the jury was told how six "suicide" notes written by Moat were found by police after he went on a "murderous rampage".

One of the notes was addressed to Miss Stobbart and said he could not live without her.

The jury was also told ammunition and a noose were also found at Moat's Newcastle home.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites