Jury To Decide Moat Verdict

A jury at the inquest of Raoul Moat will begin considering its verdict today after hearing three weeks of evidence at Newcastle Crown Court.

The panel has been told one area it must consider is whether police should have used unauthorised Taser weapons on the night, the coroner has said.

The 37-year-old ex-doorman shot himself in the head in Rothbury after being hit by a shotgun Taser round fired by marksmen who believed he was preparing to kill himself.

The inquest at Newcastle Crown Court has heard the aim was to incapacitate him, allowing officers to make an arrest, but that in all likelihood there was little or no electrical discharge needed to achieve that.

Moat was on the run after shooting his ex-girlfriend Sam Stobbart, executing her new boyfriend Chris Brown and then blinding Pc David Rathband after declaring war on police.

Police were offered and accepted X12 Taser shotguns which were only licensed for testing in the UK.

It was the first time firearms officers had seen the weapons.

The shotguns were used as they fired XREP cartridges over a longer range than conventional handheld Tasers.

Newcastle Coroner David Mitford, summing up yesterday, told the jury: "I invite you to make a decision on whether that was appropriate."

The panel of five men and five women would have to be "satisfied so you are sure" before returning a verdict of suicide, whereas other verdicts could be decided "on the balance of probabilities".

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