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Moat's brother slams Facebook tributes

Raoul Moat's brother has said if his brother had survived he would not have "condoned" the Facebook tributes calling him a "legend".

Angus Moat described them as the work of people who needed to vent the "negative side of their feelings and their emotions and their lives".

The tax officer said he was "furious" with the younger brother he had not seen for nearly seven years but his "suicidal and lonely" death left him "heartbroken".

In an interview with The Guardian, he spoke of his anguish and frustration at being forced to watch 37-year-old Moat's final moments on television after he was refused permission to cross the police cordon to speak to him.

The father of three shot himself last week in Rothbury, Northumberland, following a massive manhunt which ended in a six-hour stand-off with armed police.

He became Britain's most wanted man after killing karate instructor Chris Brown, 29, and wounding his former girlfriend and Pc David Rathband who was left blind.

"I'm furious with him for what he's done. But I'm heartbroken at the same time. I'm defending him, because I think I will defend him - I love him, he's my brother - but he's a bete noir as well," Mr Moat told the paper.

"I accept what he did was wrong, but I would rather have seen an outcome where he was arrested and sentenced and treated accordingly, rather than an execution on a hillside. But to die on that bank, suicidal and lonely - it broke my heart."

A shrine at the spot where Moat shot himself was cleared by people disgusted at the tributes to the gunman.

And the 'RIP Raoul Moat you Legend' group which attracted over 30,000 members was taken down by its creator, 21-year-old Siobhan O'Dowd, from Burnley, after it was criticised by Prime Minister David Cameron.

However, another Facebook page was today proving almost as popular as its predecessor.

The 'R.I.P Raoul Moat!' group on the social networking site has more than 14,500 supporters and describes the gunman - jailed for assaulting a child - as a "loving father and an all round canny lad".

The presence of the page is causing a massive debate online with some Facebook users condemning those who are portraying the 37-year-old steroid-abusing former nightclub doorman as a legend and hero.

Some of the messages criticise the police and Moat's ex-partner Sam Stobbart, 22, for telling him that her new boyfriend was a policeman.

One Facebook user wrote: "Cant condone what he did, shooting his ex and partner, but the blame clearly lies at the polices door, they killed Raoul Moat."

Another wrote: "Proper legend got a lot of respect 4 that man.. on the run 4 ages."

Asked about the tributes hailing his brother as a hero, Mr Moat said: "I do not condone that at all, and I'm sure he wouldn't either if he was still here. People who celebrate the bravado to give some kind of outlet to the negative side of their feelings and their emotions and their lives."

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