Raoul Moat Taser company director 'kills himself'

Peter Boatman Mr Boatman was said to have felt "ashamed" by what had happened

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The director of operations of the firm which supplied the Tasers used during the stand-off with gunman Raoul Moat is understood to have killed himself.

Former police officer Peter Boatman, of the Daventry firm Pro-Tect, was found dead on Friday morning, his business partner said.

Earlier this week it emerged supplier Pro-Tect breached its licence by supplying X12 Tasers direct to police.

The Home Office confirmed the firm had had its licence revoked.

Mr Boatman's business partner, Kevin Coles, told BBC News that Mr Boatman had been found dead.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said officers were called to an address in Kingsthorpe just before 1310 BST where the body of a 57-year-old man was found.

The spokesman added: "We are not treating the death as suspicious and will be preparing a report for the coroner.

Mr Coles said he was "devastated" at his colleague's death.

'Destroyed him'

He added that Mr Boatman was a "proud man" who had worked hard to protect the police and had felt "ashamed" at the recent developments.

Mr Coles said the Home Office ban and the subsequent coverage had "destroyed" his colleague.

A colleague of Mr Boatman at Northamptonshire Police said: "While he was in the force he was one of the guys who orchestrated the update of use of force for police officers in this country.

"He saw the benefit of using other non-lethal options like the Taser in successfully resolving situations.

Former police officer Peter Boatman's home Police said they were called to a property in Kingsthorpe

"The Raoul Moat incident should never cloud the benefits that this man brought to modern-day policing."

Pro-Tect was accused of supplying a new Taser weapon to Northumbria Police during the Raoul Moat manhunt in breach of Home Office rules, because the Taser had not been fully tested.

Mr Coles said Mr Boatman had only wanted to help police officers in the hunt for Moat.

Last week Home Secretary Theresa May said Pro-Tect had only been permitted to supply the X12 Tasers to its scientific development branch testing.

The firm also "breached rules governing the secure transport of the devices and ammunition," the Home Office said.

The Taser, which is fired from a 12-gauge shotgun, was being tested by the Home Office before a decision was taken over whether it could be approved for use by police forces in England and Wales.

The Home Office said it was "satisfied that the company supplied X12 Tasers and XRep ammunition to Northumbria Police and to another police force contrary to its authority".

There is no suggestion firearms officers were at fault.

Moat died after a six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland.

He was on the run after shooting his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, killing her new boyfriend Chris Brown, 29, and blinding Pc David Rathband, 42.

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