Gunman Raoul Moat was tipped off as police were closing in at Rothbury, by a man he had threatened to kill during his violent rampage in Newcastle, a court has heard.
Alleged accomplice Qhuram Awan telephoned the killer when he spotted officers surrounding their black Lexus getaway car in Rothbury.
Awan, who claims he was held hostage by Moat, “panicked” when he saw the search team near their woodland hideout.
But the 23-year-old did not give himself up to detectives because he feared to appear “a grass”, the court heard.
Cross-examining at Newcastle Crown Court, Robert Smith QC asked why Awan had not given himself up to police.
Awan said: “If it appears I have been to the police and grassed Raoul up then that’s my life in danger and my family’s life in danger.
He added: “If I went to the police it would have been seen as grassing Raoul.”
Awan, of Blyth, Northumberland, was arrested when he and Moat’s former business partner Karl Ness, 26, of Dudley, Gateshead, were spotted by a police helicopter combing Rothbury for the gunman.
Awan and Ness, of Dudley, Gateshead, deny conspiracy to murder, the attempted murder of PC Rathband, a firearms offence and robbery of a Northumberland fish and chip shop.
Ness also denies the murder of karate instructor Chris Brown. The trial continues.