GUNMAN Raoul Moat was “no psycho” and may have killed himself in an “involuntary reaction” to being Tasered by police, his brother said last night.
Angus Moat is convinced he could have prevented his younger brother’s death but said police would not let him intervene during the six-hour stand-off which ended with a fatal gunshot at 1.15am on Saturday.
The tax officer, 39, said his brother was a sensitive person who may have been suffering a breakdown when he shot his former girlfriend, killed her new boyfriend and then turned his gun on a police officer.
After being cornered on a riverbank in Rothbury, Northumberland – following a seven-day manhunt – Moat, 37, told police that nobody cared about him.
Angus, of Newcastle, had not seen his brother for several years, but immediately contacted police and offered to talk to him, only to be told it could make the situation “more volatile”.
“He was just sitting there in the open, in no cover, crying about the fact he had no family and no dad and that nobody loved him,” he said. “That was not true. He had loads of people but died believing he had none.”
Moat questioned why two electronic stun guns were used in the effort to bring his brother down and asked why no marks from the Tasers were mentioned in the postmortem examination report, which gave his cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head. He suggested the shock from the stun gun may have caused Moat to pull the trigger on the shotgun he had been holding to his head throughout the stand-off.
Angus Moat said: “I’m thinking – you discharge a Taser on a man who is soaked to the skin, in a rainstorm, who has got a gun pointed at his head, with his finger on the trigger? He’s going to go into muscle spasm and there’s going to be an involuntary reaction in every muscle in his body including his finger muscles, which are on the trigger of the gun.
“He’s going to have an involuntary reaction and pull the trigger, and he’s going to die and he might not necessarily have ever wanted to.”
The manhunt was sparked on July 3 after Moat’s former girlfriend Sam Stobbart, 22, was shot and her 29-year-old boyfriend Chris Brown killed in Gateshead.
The next morning Pc David Rathband, 42, was shot in an unprovoked attack at a roundabout in Newcastle.
“What he did was totally wrong, totally monstrous and I am not trying to defend or excuse it,” said Moat. “But this was not a case of some guy just deciding to be a psycho gun nut, because that is not what my brother was. Raoul has been made out to be some kind of Terminator, Rambo character, a psycho, and it could not be more untrue.”
He said his brother was “perhaps too sensitive” and may have longed for a stable family unit because of a “fairly dysfunctional background with very little maternal affection”. The breakdown of his relationship with Stobbart may have been “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Angus Moat’s comments echoed those of his uncle Charlie Alexander who said yesterday he had also offered to join negotiations and had been rebuffed by police.
Alexander said he also believes Moat might have surrendered if he realised family members loved him.
Staff from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating events leading up to Moat’s death, visited his family yesterday.
The probe will look into why officers used Tasers during the stand-off and consider whether Northumbria Police took adequate action following a warning from Durham Prison that Moat might harm Stobbart following his release.
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