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Moat 'resorted to eating dead mice'

Fugitive Raoul Moat grew so hungry that he resorted to eating dead mice when on the run from police.

Police negotiators attempted to strike up a rapport with the gunman by feeding him sandwiches as he knelt on a riverbank with a shotgun to his head.

Moat knew he faced the rest of his life in prison which made police negotiations with him extremely difficult, his inquest at Newcastle Crown Court heard.

A police negotiator who saw the killer shoot himself in the head said the gunman was a "broken man" who was "100% suicidal".

The officer, who was granted anonymity by the court, said: "He told us he had been starving and had been eating dead mice. Giving him food and drink was a positive action in which he learned to trust us a little bit; it taught him that not all police officers are bad."

The officer described seeing Moat wound himself then shoot himself dead with two shots from a sawn-off shotgun. He told how he saw a "diamond-shaped flash" as Moat fired the second, fatal shot at his head.

The former doorman had been kneeling upright with the double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun "wedged tightly" beneath his chin. He then raised himself slightly and, still kneeling, moved the shotgun to point at his temple.

The negotiator saw him begin to breathe deeply, in his opinion to "psyche himself up" to make "the most horrendous decision any human being could make in their life".

He said: "My colleagues were shouting 'Raoul, put the gun down; Raoul, don't end it, don't do it, think of your kids'. But he didn't listen. At that point there was a pop and the firearm moved several inches from his head.

"He made a scream, he shouted out 'ow' loudly, then pushed the gun back against his temple. There was a second pop and a diamond-shaped flash and that's when he shot the side of his head off and there was an exit from the side of his head. And then he fell over and that was the end."

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