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Moat 'could hide for days'

Raoul Moat's survival skills and local knowledge could allow him to hide out in the woods for days, a former lover said.

The fugitive, who in a rambling letter to police admitted to being a "killer and a maniac", loves camping and fishing and spent many weekends in the Northumberland countryside as a younger man.

His written declaration of war leads police to believe he would rather die taking them on than give himself up peacefully.

The 37-year-old even described himself feeling like The Hulk, when "it takes over and it's more than anger and it happens only when I'm hurt, and this time I was really hurt."

But a different picture was painted by waitress Yvette Foreman, 35, who dated the former nightclub doorman more than a decade ago.

She said: "He was a lovely lad back then. He had long blonde hair in a ponytail, which he wore plaited with loads of little coloured beads.

"He'd come up to stay from Newcastle for the weekend and we'd go off to the woods.

"He was daft as a brush, a real practical joker. He once soaked my dad with water."

It was during their romance that he got to know the Rothbury area well.

She said: "We'd go camping and fishing here loads when we were younger, almost every weekend, and he knows the woods and hills like the back of his hand.

"There's so much woodland and so many little nooks and crags out there I think he could hide out for days."

Only once did he reveal his volatile streak, and his enjoyment of violence.

He wrote to her a vicious fantasy in which he described plans to batter a rival with a baseball bat.

She recalled: "He was saying how he and his mates were going to take a bat to somebody because they'd fallen out with somebody.

"I never really paid it any attention until now."

Miss Foreman said the burly bouncer's apparent steroid abuse could be to blame.

Relatives of his former partner Samantha Stobbart said he was a vain thug, prone to horrific outbursts of violence fuelled by jealousy.

Her half-sister Kelly said: "He's a nutter and he's definitely not going to give himself up."

He has been arrested 12 separate times and charged with seven different offences during that time, police confirmed.

He went on trial at Newcastle Crown Court charged with possessing a samurai sword and a knuckle duster five years ago.

Despite boasting to the jury about the best use of a knuckle-duster and his brawling skills, he was acquitted of both counts.

His first conviction - despite known links to the Tyneside underworld - came only this year when he was jailed for 18 weeks for assaulting a child.

He was brought up in the West End of Newcastle by his grandmother, close to where his father and French-born mother lived.

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