Moat Inquest: Police Wanted Him Alive

15 September 2011, 17:18

A senior police officer involved in the hunt for Raoul Moat was asked today whether police had wanted the gunman dead.

Chief Inspector Jo Farrell was in charge of the tactical operation to bring the on-the-run killer to justice.

As silver commander of Operation Bulwark she helped lead the manhunt for Moat in Rothbury, Northumberland, last summer.

She was determined to see the fugitive face trial for his crimes, she told his inquest at Newcastle Crown Court.

Coroner for Newcastle David Mitford said:

'People might take the view that this is a person who not only had harmed members of the public but had made the vow to kill police officers.

'They might think perhaps the police were not too well disposed towards him and might have been happy to see him dead?

'My primary objective was to ensure the safety of the public and to bring him to justice so that his victims and their families could see that justice had been done and that he had been held accountable for his crimes.'

She said the decision to use non-lethal shotgun Tasers was taken to give officers who surrounded the killer a chance to bring him in alive.

'The indications were that he was intent on taking his own life and that he posed a significant threat.

'My responsibility was to manage that threat and to give the officers in that containment the maximum opportunity to bring him to justice, and that there would be no further incidents where firearms were discharged.

'It was important the firearms officers were aware of his suicidal intentions.

'They had both lethal weapons and less lethal weapons and the aim of those weapons was to give the officers an opportunity; a tactic to intervene, to resolve the situation without having to use lethal force against Mr Moat.'

The jury studied Moat's sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun, which was passed around the court.

Moat, 37, was pronounced dead on arrival at Newcastle General Hospital in July last year.

The six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland, ended a huge hunt for Moat who had shot his ex Sam Stobbart, murdered her new boyfriend Chris Brown and later blinded Pc David Rathband.

The inquest at Newcastle Crown Court continues.

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