Tyne & Wear

Raoul Moat: Medics battled to save 'beating heart'

Raoul Moat
Image caption Raoul Moat had been on the run for a week

Gunman Raoul Moat's heart was still beating when he arrived at hospital after shooting himself in the head, an inquest has heard.

A paramedic, who was part of the response team, said Moat took a "deep breath" as he lay on the ground fatally injured in Northumberland, last July.

He also said it was "fair" to assume Moat would not have survived even though his heartbeat was "normal".

Medics treated Moat "all the way to the hospital" where he was pronounced dead.

North East Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (Hart) manager Simon Swallow was part of an team that battled to save the former doorman's life.

He said the gunman had a "strong, normal" heart rhythm but was not breathing during the 35-minute dash from Rothbury to Newcastle General Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.

'Strange atmosphere'

He rushed from a police armed response vehicle to Moat's body after hearing a loud bang, the jury at Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Moat had lifted his sawn-off shotgun to his temple and pulled the trigger, a police officer told the inquest last week.

Mr Swallow said he had to ask an officer where Moat had been shot.

He said: "I know it sounds quite bizarre bearing in mind we are talking about a shotgun wound to the head but he had his hood up and a cap on.

"The policeman gestured with his arm and I looked very briefly. It was quite a strange atmosphere."

Asked by Newcastle Coroner David Mitford whether Moat showed any sign of life, Mr Swallow said: "Not initially but soon after, and I'm talking seconds, he actually drew a large breath.

"After that large single breath he did not draw another."

Mr Swallow said his team would try to save the life of any casualty who was breathing or whose heart was still beating.

The former doorman was connected to intravenous drips and fitted with a breathing mask and electrocardiogram heart monitor.

Mr Swallow said: "His heart was fine, in a normal sinus rhythm. He had a really strong output. His heart was normal.

Image caption The six-hour stand-off took place in Rothbury

"But he was not breathing; he was in respiratory arrest.

"It was a difficult situation to be in, knowing the extent of the injury."

Mr Swallow continued to treat Moat "all the way to the hospital" where an accident and emergency team, including a neurosurgeon, was waiting.

Cross-examining, John Beggs asked: "Despite your best efforts, that shotgun injury was absolutely non-survivable; there is absolutely no way he could have survived it?"

"That is fair to say," Mr Swallow replied.

As Moat's body was wheeled on a trolley from the back of the ambulance, Mr Swallow noticed a "strange-looking thing" hanging by wires from the top end of his stretcher.

"It was not a piece of medical equipment - that's why I looked at it," he said.

The inquest has heard how Moat was hit by a non-lethal round from an experimental shotgun Taser, which was designed on impact to burst apart on wires and deliver an electric shock.

The inquest heard how torrential rain prevented Moat's body being carried to the hospital by air.

The 37-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival at Newcastle General Hospital in July last year.

The six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland, ended a huge hunt for Moat who had shot his ex-partner, Sam Stobbart, murdered her new boyfriend, Chris Brown, and later blinded Pc David Rathband.

The inquest at Newcastle Crown Court continues.

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