Tyne & Wear

Gunman Raoul Moat 'laughed' after shooting officer

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

Shotgun killer Raoul Moat laughed seconds after shooting and blinding a policeman, a court has heard.

Karl Ness, 26, and Qhuram Awan, 23, who are accused of helping Moat, made the claim during police interviews.

They were with Moat when Pc Rathband was shot, but claim they were being held hostage, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Mr Ness also denies the murder of Chris Brown, partner of Moat's ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart.

He and Mr Awan, also deny conspiracy to murder and the attempted murder of Pc Rathband, who was shot and blinded by Moat, 37, last July.

The jury has heard that the men were Moat's willing accomplices but they told police they were "in shock" after Pc Rathband was injured.

On Friday the court also heard how Mr Ness wrote a secret note for his girlfriend and hid it in his shoe in a "crude attempt" to get her to help his defence.

He wanted his partner to back up his story that Moat forced him and his co-defendant to assist him.

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

Routine search

He had been on the run after shooting Ms Stobbart, killing her new boyfriend, and shooting Pc Rathband.

Both defendants also deny a firearms offence and robbery of a Northumberland fish and chip shop.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury the note was found during a routine search at Holme House Prison where Mr Ness was being held on remand.

Image caption Moat went on the run after killing Chris Brown

The letter, intended for Mr Ness's girlfriend, said: "At roughly 3.30am Raoul turned up at yours going crazy and telling you what he did and what he had done!"

"In his plan, she then summoned him to come to her home with Awan.

"I got there and there was Raoul pointing a gun at you.

"He told me everything what he had done and me and Shaun (Awan's nickname) were in shock."

Mr Ness added: "He said he was taking us for insurance. That's the last you seen of us!!!

"Raoul said if the police come to you don't tell the truth."

Mr Ness also apparently hoped to coach her to say: "I will never forgive Raoul for what he put us all through."

The prosecution said the note ended: "That should help a lot. xxx"

Mr Smith said it was a "crude attempt" to help his defence.

Mr Awan, who drove Mr Ness and Moat in his black Lexus on the night Pc Rathband was shot twice but survived, told detectives he believed the fugitive was only going to scare the officer, the court heard.

Mr Smith said: "He claimed he did not know that Moat was being serious about shooting the police and was just going to shoot the tyre of the car or, as he put it, 'frighten them'."

The case was adjourned until Monday when the first witness was due to give evidence.

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