On the Run
On Friday 9 July, seven days after maiming the mother of his child and killing her lover, at 7pm, Moat emerges from the woods surrounding the town of Rothbury. He’s holding his sawn off shotgun.
Police surround him.
By this time a search of Moat’s house has revealed he’s written six suicide notes to friends, associates and social services. One of the notes is to Samantha. It reads:
“Sam, I can’t go on without you. I love you so much and miss you very, very much...maybe now you’ll see just how much.”
There was even a noose in the loft. The police know Moat’s armed and suicidal.
SUICIDE BY COP
The police are determined to stop him ending his life by making one of their officers shoot. An experimental non-approved Taser shotgun, the X12 is authorised for use. It’s hoped it will disable him before Moat can either shoot himself or others.
When they challenge him on the riverside, Moat drops to the ground. Initially he’s on his knees. At other times he lies on his front. Whatever his position, he holds his sawn off shotgun to his head or to his throat.
Negotiations begin. They need to persuade him that there is in fact something worth living for. But Moat believes it is the end, that this moment was almost inevitable and that most are indifferent to his demise:
“I’ve no dad, no one cares about me.”
Moat had never known his father. But in those final hours, his real father made himself known to the police. Peter Blake, 68, says he will talk, for the first time, to his son. But in the following six hours, after making a careful risk assessment, the police don’t bring him forward. They fear Moat would not believe Peter to be his real father, but someone sent to talk him down.
Unaware that his lifelong quest to know his father was finally in his grasp, Moat asks for Samantha Stobbart, the woman on whom he had fixated and for whom he had killed. This similarly was considered too risky.
In another bizarre element to the story, former international English football star and recovering alcoholic Paul Gascoigne comes forward to try and talk to Moat:
“I’ve brought him a fishing rod, some chicken and a six-pack and got in the back of a taxi with it all...I guarantee Moaty won’t shoot me. I am good friends with him.”
At 10:22pm, police stop Gascoigne at the cordon. He will later say he was unaware of the severity of Moat’s crimes and that he’s not sure if he did know Moat after all.
At 11:30pm food and water are brought to the killer.
The standoff is now a global news story.
Just after 1am, rain starts to fall. Moat is unlikely to have slept for more than a few hours in the last week. For the armed officers, there is respite as exhausted police are replaced by a fresh rotation. For Moat, there is no such relief. His statements to police become increasingly fatalistic.
“It ends in this field tonight.”
On Saturday, after a six-hour standoff, at about 1.15am, Moat raises his shotgun from under his chin to the right side of his head. Police interpret this as an attempt to commit suicide.
At 1:26am police fire two experimental Taser guns. One hits him on the arm but the other misses. The Tasers fail to incapacitate Moat.
Moat repositions the gun to the side of his head.
“He heard a long bang and saw a red cloud exit the side of Raoul Moat’s head. He saw him fall backwards into the long grass.”
PC Worgan witness statement to Independent Police Complaints Commission