Rothbury residents witness Raoul Moat stand-off

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AN inquest has heard from Rothbury residents who saw the capture of Raoul Moat on the village’s Riverside.

Peter Aviston took to the stand on day four of the inquiry into the gunman’s death at Newcastle Crown Court.

He told the jury of five men and six women that after the Cumbrian shootings earlier in the year there was a ‘heightened fear’ in the village with the gunman on the loose.

Mr Aviston, who lives in the village and had a clear view of the Riverside from decking at his house, said he saw a man, which he now knows was Raoul Moat, walking along the river on the evening of July 9 last year.

“I heard shouting very shortly after and turned back and saw two uniformed police officers who were pointing what looked like firearms at the male,” he said.

He described watching the events unfold on the Riverside and videoing the scene from an upstairs window of his house.

He saw Moat go from standing, to kneeling and sitting and lying down.

And he saw Moat with a shotgun to his head.

He said that the stand-off appeared to be controlled and that there were no ‘sharp movements’.

He added that whole manhunt had had an effect on the village.

“From someone who lives in the village with two young children we were extremely scared,” he said.

“We wouldn’t let the children go out, we even thought twice about putting the washing out.”

He also described hearing two shots, with the second much quieter than the first.

A statement from resident Bob Herdman was also read to the court.

He described watching the scene from his bedroom window and hearing one shot. He also said that the previous night he saw a man, who he believed to be Moat, in his greenhouse in the allotment opposite his property.

David Young’s statement was also read.

He said he heard police telling Moat to ‘put the gun away’ and ‘your family love you’ and ‘you will look back at this in years to come’.

He describes going out and coming home at 12.45am and seeing the back of Moat kneeling or sitting on the ground and said he was 85 per cent sure that at one point Moat fell backwards and he saw the gunman’s face.

He then saw police going over to Moat and calling paramedics over.

The inquest continues tomorrow.