Raoul Moat's father's regrets over Tyneside shootings

Published
image captionRaoul Moat was on the run for a week before being cornered in Rothbury

The father of gunman Raoul Moat has said he blames himself for his son killing a man and shooting his ex-girlfriend and a policeman.

Peter Blake, 68, who split from Moat's mother when she was pregnant and never met his son, said a father figure may have prevented his "breakdown".

Moat, 37, had just been released from prison when he shot his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart on 3 July.

He killed her new partner Chris Brown, 29, and wounded Pc David Rathband, 42.

He was on the run for a week before being traced to Rothbury, Northumberland, where he died after shooting himself following a six-hour stand-off with police on 10 July.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Mr Blake said he contacted police when Moat was traced to Rothbury, offering to try to speak to him.

Raised by grandmother

He said: "It was starting to leak out that him not having a father was a problem.

"I kept thinking 'I have done nothing for him, but I can do something now'.

"I thought the chances of him coming out of a stand-off were remote.

"If the police had said to him 'actually you do have a father, he has come forward' - it could have made a difference.

"I don't think he would have wanted to die if he thought he could meet his father - it could have set his mind on a different track."

Moat was raised by his grandmother in Newcastle's West End, close to where his father and mother Josephine both lived.

Soon after Moat's death, his uncle, Charlie Alexander, 72, told the BBC his nephew had told police he had no father and asked to speak to his family during the stand-off.

He said: "He was asking for us. He said he had no family and he had no dad."

Mr Blake said the police were getting lots of calls from friends and family offering to help during the stand-off, and he never got to talk to his son.

'Psychological help'

He said he had never been allowed to meet him, and only realised he was on the run when he heard it on the news.

image captionPc Rathband was blinded in the shooting

He said: "I always felt love for him and never forgot him. I was always disappointed he never got in touch with me.

"If he had had a father in his life things could have turned out differently - I blame myself, no-one else."

He added: "The papers portrayed him as an evil monster. He had mental health issues that were never addressed and he was warped by his childhood experiences.

"He had lost his children, and his girl had gone off. It was a crime of passion - I'm not trying to justify what he did but he had had a catastrophic breakdown.

"Sometimes people do things and there is no sense in them. He needed psychological help and it wasn't forthcoming.

"The situation was portrayed in a simplistic and sensationalist way.

"The person I blame is me - if I could have been there this would never have happened."

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