Tyne & Wear

Second post-mortem examination on Raoul Moat

A second post-mortem examination is to be carried out on gunman Raoul Moat, his uncle has confirmed.

Moat, who died on 10 July, shot his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, killed her new partner Chris Brown, 29, and wounded Pc David Rathband, 42.

Pc Rathband, who was blinded, has now left a Newcastle hospital.

It has also emerged that Northumbria Police used survival expert Ray Mears in the search for Moat, who was on the run for a week after the shootings.

Five people arrested in connection with the inquiry have been released on bail. Twenty people have so far been held and two charged with conspiracy to murder.

The two men are due to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday.

The 18 others have been bailed by police.

Former nightclub bouncer Moat was hunted by police for a week before he was caught in Rothbury, Northumberland.

Northumbria Police said in a statement: "We can confirm Ray Mears did assist in this investigation as did several other agencies and specialists."

Moat's uncle Charlie Alexander said that the second post-mortem examination would be taking place on Wednesday.

Mr Alexander also revealed that he is due to be interviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC is carrying out an investigation into the use of high-powered Tasers, which deliver a shock of up to 50,000 volts, during the six-hour stand-off before Moat's death.

Image caption Raoul Moat was on the run for a week before being caught in Rothbury

Speaking earlier on BBC Radio 5 Live, Pc Rathband said: "I'm on the mend. I'm obviously looking forward to going home and I've managed to negotiate an early release from the ward sister."

The officer said he was waiting for operations carried out by plastic surgeons to heal and would be returning to hospital in three to four weeks for an examination of his left eye "to see if there's something they can salvage from that".

Focusing on how he will adapt to the "life-changing" events, he said: "It's going to very difficult and I'm devastated, but I'm not going to dwell on it because if I do then, in my opinion, it will block out all of the things that I need to achieve to get to where I need to be."

Pc Rathband said he harboured no bitterness towards Moat.

"I'm the lucky one and if I can master the art of walking, whether it be with a white stick or with a guide dog, I'll be no different to anybody else," he said.

He insisted he would continue as an officer, adding: "I'm just a policeman and a person very proud to be a policeman and that's one of the things that keeps me going. I want to get back to a job that I enjoyed doing."

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