Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Funeral of fugitive gunman Moat

Family and friends have gathered to pay tribute to fugitive killer Raoul Moat at his funeral.

The private ceremony was held at the West Road Crematorium, less than a mile from his former home in Newcastle's Fenham Hall Drive.

The gunman's family had previously said he would not be buried for fears his grave would become a shrine to anti-police ghouls.

Moat, 37, sparked a huge manhunt last month after shooting his ex-lover Sam Stobbart, 22, in Birtley, Gateshead, and killing her new boyfriend Chris Brown. The next day he blasted unarmed police officer David Rathband in the face, leaving him blind. Moat hid for a week before he was cornered in Rothbury, Northumberland, where he ended his life following a six-hour stand-off with police.

Around 150 mourners gathered outside the Crematorium's West Chapel ahead of the funeral. Behind Blues Eyes by The Who was played as they filed into the service. Moat's brother Angus, 39, embraced the pall-bearers who carried the coffin from the hearse. His uncle Charlie Alexander, 72, wore his Royal Artillery regimental blazer and tie.

Others paying their respects included friends, neighbours and people he had never met. Friends Kenneth Ingham and Peter Hefferin, both 18 and from Lemington, in Newcastle, said they understood why Moat had snapped.

Jobless Mr Ingham said: "He was only in prison four months and his lass started cheating on him with another man, and said it was a copper. It was cracking him up. There is only so much some people can take. I would have done exactly the same thing if I was in jail and my lass was cheating on me."

Mother-of-eight Theresa Bystram, 45, travelled from Weybridge, Surrey, on an overnight bus to the crematorium with three of her teenage sons. Despite admitting she did did not know Moat, she said: "I absolutely loved him. I just think he is a hero and I wanted to pay my respects. He kept them coppers on the run all that time. Fair enough people died but they must have deserved it."

Afterwards the ceremony Angus Moat and Mr Alexander made a brief statement to the media saying: "Raoul Moat, dear brother, nephew, father and friend. The Moat family and the Alexander family now ask that we be allowed to mourn Raoul's passing with privacy and with respect. We understand there is an element of public interest and from now on we view this as an investigation into the procedures surrounding the events of recent weeks.

"We have instructed a solicitor to act for us. We are now moved to co-operate as much as possible with the relevant authorities to allow the investigation to proceed. We will make no further comment regarding the ongoing inquest into the circumstances of Raoul's death."


From Belfast Telegraph