Who is Raoul Moat? The Newcastle killer who sparked one of the North East's biggest manhunts

Credit PA
Moat had been released from HMP Durham just days before going on his rampage. Credit: PA Images

More than a decade ago the story of Raoul Moat dominated headlines when the former nightclub bouncer shot three people in 24 hours before going on the run for more than a week.

The events, which have inspired new ITV drama The Hunt for Raoul Moat, have become one of the North East's most infamous criminal cases.

We take a look at how the story unfolded in July 2010.

Who is Raoul Moat?

Raoul Moat was a former bouncer from Newcastle who had a violent history. Shortly before going on a shooting spree, Moat had been serving an 18-week prison sentence at HMP Durham for assaulting a nine-year-old family member. 

In 2010 Moat shot ex-partner Samantha Stobbart, her new partner 29-year-old Christopher Brown and PC David Rathband.

He went on the run, evaded capture for more than a week and eventually took his own life in Rothbury in Northumberland.

He had a child with Ms Stobbart, with whom he hoped to rekindle a relationship with upon release from jail. This however was unlikely she had developed a new relationship with Mr Brown.

What is the story of Raoul Moat?

A few days after being released from HMP Durham in 2010, Moat targeted his ex-girlfriend and her new partner, by visiting her house in Birtley, Gateshead in the early hours of 3 July.

Moat later claimed he had heard the pair laughing about him as he listened through an open window at Ms Stobbart's neighbours' house.

Moat shot the couple - who he wrongly believed was a police officer, leaving Ms Stobbart with life changing injuries and killing Mr Brown.

Samantha Stobbart was shot by her former boyfriend Raoul Moat.

After the attacks Moat went on the run for a week, and Northumbria Police started a major operation in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.  

Police held a news conference and were on alert to find Moat, when a day later on 4 July he picked out unarmed PC Rathband on a roundabout by the A1 in Newcastle and shot him twice.

Sniper teams, 160 armed officers, helicopters, dogs and armoured anti-terrorist vehicles were all deployed during the chase to find Moat.   

As a manhunt ensued, Moat is said to have threatened police with calls from pay phones, saying he would kill officers if they tried to stop him, and posting his thoughts in a conversation on Facebook.

Police believed Moat posed a risk to the public and during the manhunt police officers were positioned outside schools and several people were arrested on suspicion of trying to help him.  

Over the course of a week, police officers found many abandoned campsites where it is thought he had slept rough. 

The pursuit finally ended after seven days when Moat was recognised by police in Rothbury.  

After being cornered and a six-hour standoff with the police, Raoul Moat died by suicide and was pronounced dead at the scene on 10 July 2010.  

What happened to the victims?

Chris Brown was pronounced dead at the scene of the initial shooting in Birtley Gateshead.

Samantha Stobbart was badly injured after being shot in the arm and abdomen but went on to survive the attack.

PC Rathband, who was picked out and shot twice while sitting in his patrol car at a roundabout on the A1 and A69 near East Denton, Newcastle, was in hospital for three weeks. He lost his sight following the attack.

PC David Rathband was badly wounded after being shot by Raoul Moat whilst sat in a police patrol car above the A1 in Newcastle. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

PC Rathband went on to set up the Blue Lamp Foundation, which helped other members of the emergency services injured in the line of duty, earning him a Pride of Britain award.

Two years later, in February 2012, PC Rathband's body was found at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, where he had taken his own life.

What is ITV drama about?

ITV is releasing a true crime drama about the events of 2010, which will follow the point of view of the victims. It will focus on the idea of domestic violence and how Northumbria Police and the probation services dealt with Moat.

It will look at topics including patterns of coercive control and domestic abuse.

The Hunt for Raoul Moat will be produced by World Productions, part of ITV Studios, acclaimed producers of Anne, Line of Duty, The Pembrokeshire Murders and Vigil, in association with MultiStory Media. 

Kevin Sampson, who has written the drama adaptation, was in Corbridge at the time.

It has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who will oversee production on behalf of the channel. 

Moat will be played by North East actor Matt Stokoe, who is from Durham.

The drama will not focus on Paul Gascoigne's role in events, which the makers said would trivialise the tragedy. The former footballer made headlines at the time when he arrived in Rothbury to speak to Moat.

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