Tyne & Wear

Police 'did not want Raoul Moat dead' inquest told

Raoul Moat
Image caption Raoul Moat had been on the run for a week

A senior police officer told an inquest into the death of Raoul Moat that officers did not want the gunman dead.

In response to questioning from coroner David Mitford, Ch Supt Jo Farrell said officers were intent on bringing the killer to justice.

As silver commander, she helped lead the manhunt for 37-year-old Moat in Rothbury, Northumberland, last July.

Moat injured his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, killed her new boyfriend Chris Brown and blinded a policeman.

Ms Farrell said she and other officers involved in the six-hour stand-off were determined to see the fugitive face trial for his crimes.

Coroner for Newcastle David Mitford said: "People might take the view that this is a person who not only had harmed members of the public but had made the vow to kill police officers.

"They might think perhaps the police were not too well disposed towards him and might have been happy to see him dead?"

Ms Farrell told the Newcastle Crown Court inquest: "My primary objective was to ensure the safety of the public and to bring him to justice so that his victims and their families could see that justice had been done and that he had been held accountable for his crimes."

Image caption Jurors were shown Raoul Moat's shotgun

She said the decision to use non-lethal shotgun Tasers was taken to give officers who surrounded the killer a chance to bring him in alive.

She added: "The indications were that he was intent on taking his own life and that he posed a significant threat.

"My responsibility was to manage that threat and to give the officers in that containment the maximum opportunity to bring him to justice, and that there would be no further incidents where firearms were discharged.

"It was important the firearms officers were aware of his suicidal intentions.

"They had both lethal weapons and less lethal weapons and the aim of those weapons was to give the officers an opportunity; a tactic to intervene, to resolve the situation without having to use lethal force against Mr Moat."

On Wednesday, the jury were told that the experimental Taser gun used on Moat had never been seen, held or fired before by the firearms team who shot at him.

The hearing continues.

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