Moat Committed Suicide

A jury at the inquest of cornered killer Raoul Moat, who blasted himself in the head with a sawn-off shotgun, has returned a unanimous verdict of suicide.

Police fired shotgun Tasers as he prepared to kill himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July last year, but the round had no effect on him, the three-week inquest at Newcastle Crown Court heard.

The 37-year-old ex-doorman was surrounded by police marksmen and negotiators tried for six hours to get him to surrender but he was determined not to go back to prison.

The inquest heard that 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 lock up his muscles.

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 he declared war on police.

Officers 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 because they fired XREP cartridges over a longer range than conventional handheld Tasers.

Two were fired - one round hit his forearm, the other missed - and moments later he put a bullet through his brain.

Remarkably, he still had a pulse when he arrived at Newcastle General Hospital some 30 miles away, despite the unsurvivable brain injury.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has cleared officers involved in Moat's death of any wrongdoing.

His murderous rampage was sparked in two phone calls he made to Ms Stobbart from Durham Prison where he was serving a sentence for assaulting a child. She told him their relationship was over and that she had found a younger man who could knock him out.

She lied, saying her new lover was a police officer and Moat warned her he would ``go crazy''.

He kept his word, tracking the new couple down and waiting outside her neighbour's home in Birtley, Gateshead, before killing Mr Brown with three shots and badly injuring Ms Stobbart.

When police raided his home in Newcastle, they found a noose in his attic and six suicide notes for friends.

In one to his ex, he expressed his love for her, adding: ``Knowing you hate me is tearing me apart.''

Moat fled, and the next night maimed Pc Rathband as he drove around Newcastle with two accomplices, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan.

After the pair were arrested near Rothbury, police discovered the campsite where they hid and found hours of recordings by Moat.

In them was a chilling threat to the wider public, which caused police to swamp the area with armed police.

Finally, Moat was cornered by the River Coquet and, with his shotgun to his head, shouted to police to kill him.

Skilled negotiators managed to calm him and an unlikely rapport developed over five hours.

But in his last moments, his mood changed after telling police: ``It ends in this field tonight.''

He took deep breaths, as if preparing himself for a final effort, having moved the shotgun from under his chin to his right temple and at that moment the police fired Tasers, before Moat blasted himself.