Moat inquest jury to be sent out

Raoul Moat
Raoul Moat

THE jury which will decide how killer Raoul Moat met his death will be sent out this morning.

Newcastle Coroner David Mitford will dismiss the 10 men and women on day 15 of the gunman’s inquest at Newcastle Crown Court.

Summing up yesterday, Mr Mitford said they will have to consider, based on the evidence they have heard, whether police should have used unauthorised Taser weapons on the night, the coroner has said.

The 37-year-old ex-doorman shot himself in the head in Rothbury after being hit by a shotgun Taser round fired by marksmen who believed he was preparing to kill himself.

The inquest at Newcastle Crown Court has heard the aim was to incapacitate him, allowing officers to make an arrest, but that in all likelihood there was little or no electrical discharge needed to achieve that.

Moat was on the run after shooting his ex-girlfriend Sam Stobbart, executing her new boyfriend Chris Brown and then blinding PC David Rathband after declaring war on police.

Mr Mitford said that up to 300 armed police - half of the country’s trained firearms officers - were involved in the manhunt.

While on the run, Moat left messages threatening the wider public.

“That created a massive problem, an unprecedented problem for the police to deal with. It was known he had the capacity and was prepared to use violence with a lethal weapon,” he said.

Police were offered and accepted X12 Taser shotguns which were only licensed for testing in the UK. They fired XREP cartridges over a longer range than conventional handheld Tasers.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Ashman made the decision to accept the shotgun Tasers for use, and a senior officer said they should be deployed on the night, the coroner said.

He told the jury: “These are issues that you will need to look at. I invite you to make a decision on whether that was appropriate.”