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13 September 2011, 17:37
Cornered killer Raoul Moat was worried about being hit by police stun gun weapons during a stand-off, his inquest heard today.
As officers pointed conventional rifles and Taser weapons at him, the fugitive expressed concern about being stunned and then arrested, the hearing at Newcastle Crown Court was told.
Moat, 37, shot himself in the head with his sawn-off shotgun and police fired two Taser rounds at him at the climax of a six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July last year.
He had sparked a huge manhunt after blasting his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, executing her new boyfriend Chris Brown, 29, and later blinding unarmed Pc David Rathband.
Sergeant David Hudson, an armed officer at the scene and bronze commander who relayed information to superiors, agreed that Moat was worried about being hit by the stun guns.
"My understanding was he did not want to get hit by a Taser because he didn't want to be arrested,'' the officer said.
John Beggs, for Northumbria Police, asked: "He was aware of what would happen?''
Sgt Hudson replied: "He falls over and we arrest him.''
He expected in the first half-hour of the stand-off that Moat would shoot himself or force officers to kill him by pointing his weapon at them.
But after those 30 minutes passed, he became a "quite rational, polite man'', Sgt Hudson said.
He believed Moat calmed down after being taken by surprise by police on the banks of the River Coquet.
"I firmly believe he didn't expect to be found,'' he said.
"I think he got cornered when he didn't expect to.''
The officers, who used new X12 shotgun-style Tasers, received five minutes training on how to use them that night, he said.
Ideally they would have been in a classroom, with time to practise on the range.
"It was this (the X12) or nothing,'' Sgt Hudson said. "This was the best we could do.''
The jury has heard conventional handgun-style Tasers could not be used as they did not have the required range.
The inquest was adjourned until tomorrow.