Relive seven days Raoul Moat was on the run after a murderous rampage
The TV survival expert, a drunken Gazza and the biggest (and most bizarre) manhunt in British history: Relive minute by minute the terrifying seven days Raoul Moat was on the run after a murderous gun rampage as ITV screens major new drama
- Raoul Moat went on a murderous rampage, killing one and wounding two others
- His pursuit has been turned into ITV drama series The Hunt For Raoul Moat
The seven-day search for gunman Raoul Moat in July 2010 was the biggest manhunt in modern British history and made headlines around the world.
After killing one person and wounding two others in a two-day shooting spree, Moat managed to evade the police for days by camping out in the Northumbrian countryside. The pursuit has now been turned into a controversial new ITV drama series The Hunt For Raoul Moat. Here is how the drama that gripped the nation unfolded…
Thursday, July 1, 11.32am
Raoul Moat, 37, is released from Durham Prison having served an 18-week sentence for assaulting a child.
Moat, 37, sparked one of the largest manhunts in UK history when he killed his ex-girlfriend’s lover before shooting her and a police officer
A three-part series called The Hunt for Raoul Moat will air on ITV later this month. Pictured: Matt Stokoe as Moat
Notorious gunman Raoul Moat, who died in 2010 following a shooting spree
Chris Brown (left) stood in the way of Raoul Moat to protect his girlfriend from the killer. Mr Brown was gunned down and killed on July 3, 2010. Actor Josef Davis (right), who stared 2019 Oscar-winner 1917 and more recently in the critically-acclaimed Star Wars mini series Andor on Disney+, is portraying Mr Brown. He is pictured in The Hunt For Raoul Moat
Two of Moat’s three victims: Ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart (left), then 22, who was hospitalised in the shooting and police officer David Rathband (right), who was permanently blinded in the attack
While in prison, his girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 15 years his junior and mother to his daughter Chanel, told him that she had a new partner, a 29-year-old karate instructor named Chris Brown. Knowing Moat has a violent temper, Samantha tries to protect them by saying Brown is a policeman.
Moat writes on Facebook: ‘Gonna lose my home and lost my Mrs of nearly 6 years to a copper. Like they haven’t f****d my life enough over the years. I’ve lost everything… watch and see what happens.’
Saturday, July 3, 2010, 2.40am
After a night out, Samantha and Chris are at a friend’s house in Birtley on the outskirts of Newcastle. Moat is crouched down outside an open window armed with a sawn-off shotgun listening to the conversations inside.
His daughter Chanel is asleep upstairs. Samantha kisses Chris Brown goodbye as he leaves the house. Suddenly Moat appears and shoots Brown twice at close range, then reloads and fires a fatal shot to his head.
Samantha runs inside and Moat fires at her through a window, hitting her in the arm and stomach. He watches Samantha crawl out of the room then runs to his car where accomplice Karl Ness is waiting to make a getaway.
Police announce they are trying to trace Raoul Moat in connection with the shootings and warn the public not to approach him as he might be dangerous. Samantha Stobbart is in a stable but serious condition at Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Matt Stokoe, best known for his roles as Alex in Misfits on Channel 4 and Luke Aikens in ITV thriller Bodyguard, will be staring as the crazed killer for ITV’s Hunt For Raoul Moat, which is released later this month. Stokoe is pictured as Moat
Chris Brown deliberately stepped in front of Raoul Moat to protect his girlfriend from the killer, she said at an inquest. Pictured is Josef Davies as Mr Brown and Sally Messham as Ms Stobbart
Andy McAllister is watching TV news bulletins about the attack when there is a knock on the door. He’s shocked to see his friend Raoul Moat standing there. Moat calmly explains that he shot Samantha ‘so she would never be able to wear a bikini again’.
McAllister, 45, tells him to turn himself in but Moat refuses and asks for a mobile phone so he can speak to the police.
Sunday, July 4, 12.30am
Moat is in his car, a black Lexus, with a second accomplice, Qhuram Awan. Moat dials 999 and says to the call handler that he didn’t mean to kill Samantha, adding: ‘You’ll get your chance to kill us, right, you’ll get your chance to kill us.’ The handler replies: ‘We don’t want to do that.’
Moat replies: ‘Aye, yous wanted me to kill myself but I’m gonna give yous a chance cos I’m hunting for officers now, right?’
The call handler pleads: ‘No. Please don’t do that. We don’t want any more killing.’
Moat hangs up then he and Awan drive off looking for a police officer to kill.
At a roundabout at East Denton, near Newcastle, motor patrol officer PC David Rathband, 42, is parked up on the pavement. It has been an incident-free night and he’s about to drive back to the station, when there is a metallic tap on the passenger window.
Rathband looks up and instantly recognises Raoul Moat.
In March 2009 he’d interviewed him under caution in the back of his police car for driving a van that was uninsured to carry scrap metal. Rathband had taken an instant dislike to him and now he was pointing a shotgun at him.
Rathband recalled: ‘I looked into his eyes, a focus of ice-cold white, from which any warmth had long since passed. There was a white flash of light from the barrel and that was the last thing I saw.’
Moat shoots him right between the eyes and he slumps into the footwell. Moat waits and watches to see if he’s dead. PC Rathband can hear his blood splashing on the dashboard and then the sound of the gun reloading, so instinctively puts his left arm up to protect himself.
Moat fires once more but, still conscious, Rathband decides to play dead, knowing that if he moves his attacker will finish him off. Moat walks away.
Family album: Moat as a happy three- and 13-year-old in pictures released by his family before he turned to murder as an adult
Moat dials 999 again and says to the call handler that the police are not taking him seriously enough.
Meanwhile David Rathband has arrived at Newcastle General Hospital and doctors attempt to save his life.
A five-hour operation on Samantha Stobbart is about to begin.
At a Press conference, Acting Chief Constable Sue Sim says: ‘Raoul Thomas Moat is a wanted man. He is very dangerous and shouldn’t be approached by a member of the public.’
Samantha Stobbart (left) was gunned down by her ex-boyfriend in a horrifying attack which claimed the life of her lover Chris Brown. Actress Sally Messham (right) is portraying the 22-year-old trainee hairdresser in the new ITV drama. She is pictured in a publicity shot for The Hunt For Raoul Moat
Samantha Stobbart (pictured) was left critically injured after she was shot in the stomach by Moat and only survived because her arm had partially blocked the shot
Ms Stobbart had broken off her relationship with Moat while he was in prison. She started to date karate instructor Chris Brown – who was gunned down and killed on July 3, 2010, by Moat. Sally Messham is pictured portraying Ms Stobbart
Police search Moat’s house in Newcastle and find CCTV cameras that can pick up not only images but voices. Above the fireplace is a large picture of Moat topless. There are children’s toys in the garden.
Samantha Stobbart is given police protection in hospital.
Monday, July 5, 1.30am
Moat returns to the home of his friend Andy McAllister and hands him a 47-page letter which he calls his ‘murder statement’. He tells McAllister: ‘I will keep killing police until I am dead.’
In the letter, Moat says: ‘I’m a killer and a maniac, but I ain’t no coward. Those doctors better save [Sam] or I’ll hit the hospital. I still love her despite everything.’
He tells McAllister to give the police the letter.
Acting Chief Constable Sim tells the Press Moat is armed but the threat to the public is not thought to be significant. ‘If you see him, do not approach him but call the police straight away.’
The police release a description of Moat’s Lexus. Firearms officers from Cumbria, Humberside, Cleveland, West and South Yorkshire join the hunt.
Moat walks into a fish and chip shop in Seaton Delaval, ten miles from Newcastle, with a gun under his arm. He orders the owner Lemur Singh to hand over money from the till.
Singh said later: ‘When I saw the gun I was frightened and took a couple of steps back. Then he asked again, ‘Give us the money’, and I opened the till and took out the notes l and handed it over. It was about £100.’
Gazza’s arrival at the police stand-off holding a loaf of tiger bread, lager, chicken and a fishing rod after convincing himself Moat was his ‘brother’ during a cocaine bender was a bizarre twist in the July 2010 Northumberland manhunt
The beginning of the stand-off as portrayed by ITV. Moat was finally caught by police on the evening of July 9, after a member of the public spotted him at the bottom of their road in Rothbury
It will be two days before the police conclude that the robber was definitely Moat.
Samantha Stobbart is no longer in a critical condition and makes an appeal to Moat: ‘Please give yourself up.
‘If you still loved me and our baby, you would not be doing this. When you came out of jail, I told you that I was seeing a police officer. I said this because I was frightened. I have not been seeing a police officer.’
Tuesday, July 6, 9am
In the small town of Rothbury, 30 miles north of Newcastle, a Mrs Wilson calls the police saying that the previous evening she saw a black Lexus parked on the east side of the town.
The police immediately advise residents to stay indoors. A spokesman says: ‘People will see armed officers on the streets. This is a precautionary measure to protect and reassure them.’
The search for Moat is now concentrated where the Lexus was found in an area of woodland known as the Cragside Estate. A nearby school is told by the police not to send children home until the area is secured.
In the House of Commons, Home Secretary Theresa May says she is in regular contact with Sue Sim and will continue liaising with the Northumberland force.
The police arrest Moat’s accomplices Awan and Ness on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Wednesday, July 7, 9am
A Rothbury family report seeing smoke in a field on the outskirts of the town.
The police find a tent and inside an eight-page letter addressed to Samantha in which Moat reasserts his belief that Chris Brown was a police officer. A TV news crew tramples over the site and many clues are lost.
A criminologist writing in this morning’s Daily Mail says: ‘Negotiation is a possibility, but there is also the likelihood that Moat is deliberately trying to engineer the scenario known in America as ‘suicide by cop’, whereby a gunman provokes a situation where the police have no alternative but to shoot him dead.’
In an interview with a local paper, Samantha’s father Paul begs Moat to hand himself in: ‘Raoul, son, please this has to stop. It’s gone on far too long. What sort of memories are these that the kids will have of their father. We don’t want anyone else hurt, nee more son.’
Police offer a £10,000 reward for information which leads to Moat’s capture.
Prime Minister David Cameron tells the Commons: ‘I know the House and the whole country will be wishing the police well in their search for this individual so that we can put a stop to the horrendous spree that is taking place.’
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has sent ten armoured Land Rovers to assist Northumbria Police and 40 armed officers have joined them from the Metropolitan Police. An RAF Tornado jet is on standby if reconnaissance sorties are required. It has now become the largest manhunt in modern British history.
Thursday, July 8, 8am
Moat’s mother Josephine Healey has given an interview to a national newspaper in which she says: ‘I feel like he hasn’t been my son since he was 19 years old.
‘He now has a totally different character, attitude and manner. I don’t recognise him at all. If I was to make an appeal I would say he would be better dead.’
Detective Superintendent Neil Adamson (left, in 2010) led the manhunt for Raoul Moat. He will be played by Line of Duty star Lee Ingleby, 47. Ingleby is pictured (right) in character on ITV’s The Hunt For Raoul Moat
The police find a makeshift campsite used by Moat and in it a dictaphone and three tapes containing a four-hour message. In a long, rambling justification for his actions is a new threat.
‘For each lie I see in the paper, any paper, I’m going to kill an innocent member of the public.’
Survival expert and TV star Ray Mears is in a meeting with his publisher when his phone rings. It’s Chief Inspector Phil Thomas, a police search adviser who Ray has worked with before, asking for his help in tracking down Moat.
Ray promises to be on the scene tonight and asks for the media not to be told that he’s going to be involved. He doesn’t want the publicity, or for Moat to know he’s tracking him. There has been some reluctance among the police top brass about using an unarmed civilian for the search, until Northumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Jim Campbell decided they needed him urgently.
Concerned by the threat recorded by Moat on the dictaphone, Sue Sim says he is now considered a danger to the public.
A letter is sent to news organisations by the police saying that ‘the rules have changed and Moat is getting angrier’ and they urge them not to report any more details about his private life.
CCTV images of Moat, with a distinctive Mohican-style haircut in a Newcastle shop on Friday, are released by police.
A ‘get well’ card for Samantha from Moat is delivered to Gateshead hospital. On the front is a cartoon monkey with a thermometer in its mouth and the caption: ‘You’re in hospital but luckily the doctors say you’ll be normal in no time! Well that’ll be a first.’
Moat had written at the bottom: ‘No joke intended. Get well soon. Raoul.’ Samantha said: ‘The card was sick. It scared me that he knew where I was. There was an armed guard outside my room, but I was terrified he’d come after me.’
Chief Constable Sue Sim oversaw the police operation to catch Raoul Moat. She is pictured at a press conference following the shooting of PC David Rathband. She is being portrayed by Peaky Blinders star Gemma Page (pictured right)
A public meeting is held in Rothbury as police urge people to be vigilant and they agree to station officers outside schools in the town to reassure locals.
Ray Mears has arrived in Rothbury and is taken to the police station. He’s stunned by the scale of the police hunt with searchlights ‘turning night into day’.
As Mears is given an update by police, he makes notes on the back of an envelope.
He is convinced that Moat is using the banks of the River Coquet that runs through the Cragside Estate to move around at night without a torch. Mears wrote later: ‘I was hungry to go head-to-head. This wasn’t Man vs. Wild, or even Man vs. Man; this was my world and Moat had come crashing into it, so the balance was uneven.’
Friday, July 9, 8am
Mears arrives at a car park on the edge of the Cragside Estate escorted by nine Met Police firearms officers and is wearing their black overalls, body armour, helmet and ballistic goggles.
READ MORE: Raoul Moat’s daughter says new ITV drama about crazed gun killer will ‘bring the horror back’ as she tells of her shame that the ‘monster’ was her father
The elite unit is joined by six dog handlers and their German shepherds. Mears’ heart is racing; he wrote: ‘There’s so much riding on this; I know the police have taken a risk in using me and I don’t want to let anyone down.’ Almost immediately, he finds a small pile of compressed brushwood and knows that Moat rested here in the last 24 hours.
An RAF Tornado flies over Cragside taking images of the woods with its on-board cameras. At a live TV Press conference, police Neighbourhood Inspector Sue Peart reads out a message from local children to show that the force has support: ‘To everyone that’s trying to get this nutter off the streets, we would like to say, thank you very much for putting your lives in danger to save ours.’
PC Rathband is listening from his hospital bed and approves of the word ‘nutter’ and thinks to himself: ‘Well done, you read my mind.’
In an abandoned boathouse, Mears spots footprints on the gravel floor. Knowing Moat’s height and weight, he’s convinced they are Moat’s and that he was here just a few hours ago. He wrote later: ‘I feel that we’re within touching distance of him but he remains one step ahead, elusive.’
A woman walking next to the River Coquet not far from the centre of Rothbury spots Moat wearing a baseball cap and hoodie.
The police are called and in their haste to get to the scene, two police cars collide. When Moat sees armed officers arrive, he sinks to his knees and puts a sawn-off shotgun to his head. The police shout at him to put his weapon down.
Armed officers and negotiators take up position about 20ft away. Residents are told to stay indoors. Nearby pubs are soon packed with people watching the news on TV.
A negotiator is trying to build a rapport with Moat. ‘I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a cell,’ Moat insists. The negotiator replies: ‘In 20 years’ time you’ll still only be 57, Raoul. You’re still a young man.’
Moat is lying on the ground with the shotgun still pointing at his head. He asks the police if he can sit up and gets on his knees and rocks from side to side to relieve cramp, keeping the gun pointing at his head.
Two police officers carrying shields slowly advance towards Moat and leave him water and sandwiches. He’d insisted the food be wrapped as he’s convinced the police might try to drug him. As Moat eats, still holding the shotgun under his chin, the negotiator implores: ‘Just watch where you’re putting your hand. Why don’t you put the gun by your foot?’ Moat refuses.
In Newcastle, former England footballer Paul Gascoigne is watching the coverage on the news.
He is so high on drink and drugs that he convinces himself that he knows Moat. Gascoigne calls a taxi and asks the driver to take him to Rothbury.
‘You’re not going where I think you’re going?’ the driver asks, ‘Yes, I am,’ Gascoigne replies. ‘I have been through so much, I am the best therapist in the world, I can save him.’
Arc lights are put in to position around the patch of ground by the riverbank. Moat refuses the police’s offer of a raincoat. Gascoigne arrives at the cordon carrying food and a fishing rod, and officers ask him where he’s going.
‘I’m going to see me mate Moaty,’ Gascoigne replies. The police laugh and tell him to go home, but Gascoigne insists he knows where to find him, as he can see the light of a helicopter shining down on him. The police explain that that’s the light from a star.
Moat calls out to the police that he doesn’t want to go on: ‘I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a cell. I have not got a dad — no one cares about me.’
Gascoigne phones local station Real Radio to explain in a slurred voice why he’s at the siege: ‘Listen, I’ve driven from Newcastle to Rothbury. It cost a lot of money.
‘I’ve brought a dressing gown for him, a big jacket, I’ve bought some chicken, some bread and a can of lager, a fishing rod, coz I’ve heard he’s by the river and I’ve got a fishing rod so we can fish together and have a chat with him . . . I think I can help him through this.
‘He’s a lovely bloke . . . all he wants to do is surrender.’
The Press call Gascoigne’s agent, Kenny Shepherd, for his reaction: ‘He’s doing what? I am sitting having an evening meal in Majorca. I’m speechless.’
A few hours later Gascoigne will wake up to hundreds of messages on his phone. ‘I thought: ‘What have I done yesterday? I’ve got chicken by my side, fishing rods, a Barbour [jacket], I’m like f*** me, I must have done something’.’
Saturday, July 10, 1.10am
Moat asks the negotiator if he can speak to Samantha on the phone. He replies that she would have to agree and asks if Moat will promise not to kill himself. Moat says: ‘It ends in this field tonight.’
Raoul Moat fires a single shot at his head. The police shout: ‘Man down, shots fired, get the gun!’ and immediately fire two Tasers at him. They run to Moat and find him in long grass, moaning with eyes wide open and with the gun still in his hand. A paramedic places an oxygen mask on Moat’s face and uses a defibrillator. Moat is then rushed to hospital in an ambulance surrounded by a police convoy.
Moat is declared dead by doctors at Newcastle General Hospital.
In March 2011 Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan are found guilty of conspiring to murder police officers, attempted murder and robbery. Ness gets a minimum of 40 years in prison, Awan a minimum of 20.
PC David Rathband was blinded for life. He received many tributes for his bravery including one from Prince Charles who wrote: ‘The United Kingdom owes a huge debt of gratitude to policemen like yourself.’
Almost 18 months after the shooting, David was found hanged at his home in Blyth. A coroner ruled that he could not cope with his disability and the subsequent breakdown of his marriage.
Samantha Stobbart, who spent three weeks in hospital recovering from her injuries, said: ‘That’s another life that Raoul’s taken away. Even when he’s dead he is still hurting people.’
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