Police find three phones used by fugitive

Police hunting fugitive gunman Raoul Moat said today they have found three of his mobile phones.

And they arrested a man and a woman in Blyth, Northumberland, yesterday afternoon on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson, leading the Northumbria Police investigation, said:

“There have been some very positive developments over the past 24 hours. I am certain that these phones were all used by Mr Moat.”

The first handset was found in Birtley in the early hours of Saturday morning at the scene where Moat's ex-lover, Samantha Stobbart, and her new boyfriend, Chris Brown, were shot.

A second phone, used to make the two 999 calls to police before and after PC David Rathband was shot early on Sunday, has also been recovered – although police would not say from where or when.

The third was discovered yesterday by a member of the public who was out walking in open land around Rothbury.

Police said it had not been used by the gunman since the recovery of the two alleged hostages, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, on Tuesday. Both have since appeared in court charged with conspiracy to murder.

Police know where and when the second and third phones were bought but will not release this information at the moment.

Mr Adamson said: “We have recovered valuable information from them and are pursuing numerous leads in connection with this information.

“This shows the vital role the public are playing in this inquiry and I would urge anyone with information to contact Northumbria Police or Crimestoppers.”

Police said the man and woman arrested yesterday in Blyth were helping officers with their inquiries.

Meanwhile, two men arrested in the Rothbury area around teatime on Wednesday on suspicion of assisting an offender were released on police bail pending further inquiries.

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