Killer Raoul Moat tipped off by 'hostage'

Raoul Moat Raoul Moat went on the run for a week after the shootings

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Raoul Moat was tipped off that police were closing in on him by a man who says he was the gunman's hostage, a court has heard.

Qhuram Awan, who is accused of helping Moat, said he was only with the 37-year-old because he was afraid of him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mr Awan phoned Moat when he spotted police near their woodland hideaway in Rothbury.

Awan, 23 and Karl Ness, 26, deny conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, a firearms offence and robbery.

Moat shot and killed Chris Brown, 29, the new boyfriend of his former girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, 22, whom he also shot during the attack in Gateshead.

He went on to shoot Pc David Rathband, blinding him, before going on the run last July.

Mr Awan has admitted driving Moat from the A1 roundabout in Denton Burn, Newcastle, where Moat shot unarmed Pc Rathband.

The jury was told how Mr Awan called Moat when he saw police surrounding their black Lexus getaway car in Rothbury, Northumberland.

But he said he did not give himself up because he was afraid of appearing to be a "grass", the court heard.

'Lives in danger'

Questioning Mr Awan, prosecutor Robert Smith QC said: "Here was an opportunity to be arrested. Surely the police were a most welcome sight?"

Mr Awan replied: "Yes, but no at the same time. The police were right there in front of me.

"If it appeared I had been to the police and grassed Raoul up then that's my life in danger and my family's lives in danger.

"It would have been exactly the same as going to the police on day one.

"Either way it would have seemed as if I'd grassed Raoul up."

Mr Awan was arrested when he and Moat's former business partner Mr Ness were spotted by a police helicopter combing Rothbury for Moat.

The gunman was on the run for a further three days before killing himself on 10 July following a six-hour stand-off with police.

Mr Awan, of Blyth, Northumberland, denies the attempted murder of Pc Rathband, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and one of robbing a shop.

Mr Ness, of Dudley, Gateshead, denies the murder of Mr Brown, attempting to murder Pc Rathband, one charge of conspiracy to murder, one charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and one of robbing a shop.

The trial continues.

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