Break-up sparked gunman Raoul Moat’s rampage

Raoul Moat
Raoul Moat

MOAT INQUEST, DAY ONE

A RELATIONSHIP break-up was the ‘catalyst for murderous acts’ committed by Raoul Moat which led to his death in Rothbury last year, an inquest heard.

The investigation into the death of 37-year-old Moat, who died on the banks of the River Coquet in Rothbury on July 10 last year after a seven-hour stand-off with police, opened this morning at Newcastle Crown Court.

A jury of five men and six women heard evidence from Superintendent Jim Napier of Northumbria Police, the officer leading the criminal investigation into Moat’s shootings last July.

The court heard recordings of two conversations between Moat, 37, and his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, while he was serving an 18-week sentence for assault at HMP Durham last July.

Moat was told that Miss Stobbart had a new boyfriend and she no longer wanted him in her life.

But Moat said he would go ‘crazy’ if she didn’t return to him.

The court also heard a recording of a conversation between Moat and Karl Ness, who was acting as Moat’s surveillance.

Supt Napier told the court about the circumstances which led to Moat shooting Miss Stobbart and killing Chris Brown on July 3 last year.

The jury was told that after the shootings, letters were found in Moat’s Newcastle house which suggested that he was suicidal, or had been in the past, and pictures of a noose in his loft were also shown.

A recording of a 999 call to police in the early hours of July 4 was also played.

In it, Moat confesses to the shootings and adds that he is ‘hunting for officers’ and has two hostages.

In swearing in the jury, Newcastle Coroner David Mitford said they need to find how, by what means and in what circumstances Raoul Moat died.

He said it would be a long and complex case, lasting up to four weeks.

The case continues this afternoon.