Belfast Telegraph

Home News

Moat planned to 'go out in a blaze of glory'

Fugitive gunman Raoul Moat said he would rather die at the hands of armed police then give himself up.

And he just about got his wish after shooting himself dead with a shotgun before officers rushed in to grab him.

During the week-long search for the killer, a picture emerged of a man who would rather "go out in a blaze of glory".

Those who know Moat, 37, said he would commit "suicide by cop" and be known infamously as someone who died trying to kill police officers.

Chillingly, the father of three even wrote a 49-page handwritten letter declaring war on the police.

He said he was a "killer and a maniac" and pledged to keep killing officers until he died.

Moat went on the run last Saturday after shooting his ex-girlfriend and critically wounding her, and then blasting her new partner dead. He also shot and injured a policeman the next day.

It quickly became clear that he was a paranoid individual who was no stranger to violence.

He explained how his own rages took over, writing: "It's like The Hulk, it takes over and it's more than anger and it happens only when I'm hurt, and this time I was really hurt."

Relatives of his former partner Samantha Stobbart described him as a thug prone to aggressive outbursts and erratic behaviour - but also vain.

They said the thick-set hulk was quite prepared to wield a gun to throw his weight around.

Kelly Stobbart, Samantha's half-sister, said: "He wants a stand-off with the police, so they'll either have to shoot him in the knees or kill him.

"He wants to be known as a guy who went to prison because he shot a load of coppers or who died trying.

"He's a nutter and he's definitely not going to give himself up."

She said the burly ex-nightclub doorman had a jealous personality that led to frequent rows with his former partner.

"He always said that if he couldn't have her, no-one else would," Miss Stobbart said.

And she claimed Moat was addicted to steroids and prone to "unpredictable" outbursts.

The sisters' grandmother, Agnes Hornsby, 69, said he arrived armed at her house in Gateshead one evening last year.

He was consumed by rage because he believed Miss Stobbart was with another man, she said.

"He threatened us with a gun when she was here, all because she'd put on her Facebook that she was going out with a friend," she said.

Despite having links to the Tyneside underworld, Moat's first conviction came only this year when he was jailed for 18 weeks for assaulting a child. He secured early release from Durham Prison only on Thursday last week.

Northumbria Police confirmed that Moat had also been arrested on 12 separate occasions and was charged with seven separate offences as a result of those arrests.

On one occasion, five years ago, he went on trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of possessing an offensive weapon and possessing an article with a blade or point - a knuckle-duster and a samurai sword.

He boasted to the jury of his skills as a brawler and demonstrated the best way to inflict serious harm using illegal streetfighting weaponry.

He told the court: "The point of a knuckle-duster is as much to protect your knuckles as it is to damage the other kid.

"The way you use a knuckle-duster is you clench it in your hand so that the metal presses in the palm of your hand."

Moat was acquitted of both charges.

But while the image invoked by Miss Stobbart's relatives is that of a callous bully, Moat's friends paint a different picture.

Some appear shocked by the recent events.

One described a dedicated father who was driven over the edge by the fear of losing his three children.

Lana Potts wrote on Facebook that she predicted he would "take is own life b4 they get im".

Moat was born in 1973 and brought up by his grandmother in Newcastle's West End, close to where his father and French-born mother lived.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph