Tyne & Wear

Brother claims police refused offer in Moat stand-off

The brother of Raoul Moat has criticised police for refusing to allow him to help in stand-off negotiations.

Angus Moat, from Gateshead, said he urged police to allow him to speak to the 37-year-old in the hope of preventing further bloodshed.

Moat is thought to have shot himself early on Saturday after officers cornered him in Rothbury.

Raoul Moat's uncle, Charles Alexander, also told the BBC that he offered to help police negotiators.

Former bouncer Raoul Moat died after a six-hour stand-off with police following a week-long manhunt.

He is suspected of shooting a police officer and his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, and murdering her partner, Chris Brown.

Angus Moat's comments came on the same day the father of Mr Brown praised Northumbria Police for their efforts in tracking down the fugitive gunman.

His father Geoffrey said: "On behalf of our family we would like to thank Northumbria Police and all the other forces involved in trying to bring the hunt for Raoul Moat to a peaceful conclusion.

"As we mourn our son and brother, we are aware that the cowardly act of Moat will affect others, including Moat's family who will have to live with his actions for the rest of their lives."

But Angus Moat, 39, a tax officer, said of his younger brother: "He was a mentally ill man under a lot of stress who cracked, and it was just the final straw.

"His actions, although I appreciate were absolutely horrendous, and although I wish he hadn't gone ahead and done what he did, were a cry of anguish.

"It was a cry of pain. The media have been bigging him up as a kind of Rambo type character. It's crazy."

He said he had not seen his brother for seven years, not because they had fallen out, but because they had "drifted apart".

He added: "I was willing to walk into the cordon with no flak jacket and try to talk to Raoul to calm him down.

"But the police told me that sending me in could make the situation more volatile."

He also criticised the police for their use of Taser stun guns, which is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Northumbria Police admitted that Tasers were used twice during the stand-off.

Angus Moat said: "It's chucking it down with rain, it's a really heavy rainstorm, he's on a grassy bank, he's soaked to the skin in non-water-proofed clothing and he's got a gun to his head.

"If you hit him with a Taser he's going to go into involuntary spasms. If he's got his finger on the trigger, that spasm will possibly involuntarily pull that trigger.

"Perhaps those Tasers, rather than stopping him taking his own life, may have caused it."

Fresh searches

Mr Alexander said he felt there was a question mark over his nephew's death.

He said: "I rang up at 11pm and said that if they sent a car I would go up and talk to him and bring him back to their lines.

"They just said they'd get back to me but nobody came back to me at all.

"I know he's done a terrible, heinous thing... but I don't think he was a threat to the public. At the time he was more of a threat to himself."

Meanwhile, fresh police searches were being carried out in an effort to find any other weapons Moat may have had access to while he was on the run.

Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Greg Vant said: "There is some intelligence that Raoul Moat may have had more than one weapon and it is only prudent, with the safety of the public in mind, not to rule such a possibility out."

The BBC has learned Moat died from gunshot wounds consistent with a weapon he was carrying.

A relative of Moat who has seen post-mortem examination results told the BBC there was no mention of marks on his body from Taser stun guns police fired at him.

Image caption Raoul Moat, left, with his brother Angus when they were children

He had been on the run for a week after allegedly shooting Samantha Stobbart and killing Mr Brown.

The attacks took place in the Scafell area of Birtley, near Gateshead, in the early hours of Saturday 3 July.

The following night Moat is alleged to have shot Pc David Rathband as he sat in his patrol car in East Denton, near Newcastle.

Armed officers descended on Rothbury on Tuesday following the discovery of a Lexus car that Moat was believed to have been driving, then finally cornered him alongside the River Coquet on Friday evening.

Bouquets of flowers have been left outside Moat's home in the Fenham area of Newcastle.

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