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By Kelly Jenkins, Kate Mansey, Justin Penrose
A bodybuilder addicted to steroids was on the run last night after shooting his ex-lover and killing her boyfriend.
Nightclub bouncer Raoul Moat, 37, released from prison on Thursday, blasted his ex Samantha Stobbart through her lounge window with a shotgun at 2.40am yesterday, leaving her fighting for life.
Her new boyfriend – a martial arts instructor – tried to flee the terraced house on Tyneside but Moat, who had been jailed for hitting a child, was waiting and shot him outside on a communal green.
Samantha’s distraught sister Kelly, 27, said she had been shot twice – once in the stomach and once in the chest. “She’s had three operations and is in a critical condition.
She might not make it,” she added.
Last night the gunman’s best friend Anthony Wright, 34, revealed how Samantha phoned Moat in jail two weeks ago and said: “It’s over.” He added: “Raoul was devastated. He was suicidal. She had told him her new man was 29 and he thought he was old and past it while her new bloke was stronger and much fitter. But I never thought he would do anything like this.”
Anthony said body-builder Moat, who regularly beat Samantha during their six year on-off relationship, was fuming at being dumped and asked a prison doctor for help over suicidal thoughts.
And he said Samantha, 22, called Moat on the day of his release to warn him that her new man was a taekwondo expert who she had met in an ASDA store.
Possibly to try and scare Moat off, Samantha fibbed to Moat that her new boyfriend was also a policeman… which the deluded monster took seriously.
Just hours before the shootings, Moat wrote on his Facebook page: “Just got out of jail. I’ve lost everything. I’ve lost my businesses, my home and, to top it all off, my lass of six years has run off with the copper that sent me down.
“I’m not 21 any more, it’s not like I can rebuild my life. See what happens now…”
Yesterday, while on the run, he taunted police on his Facebook page writing: “Ha, ha! You can come but you can’t catch me!” Anthony last saw Moat on Friday night hours before the shooting. “I dropped him off at his house at 7.30pm.
“He said he was looking forward to getting back down the gym and the last thing I said to him was ‘Chin up mate, we’ll go out for a drink next Saturday, yeah?’ and he said ‘Yeah, you’re right’.
“So now I’m baffled. I’m in shock. This lad of Sam’s, I don’t know who he was, he was just an innocent victim. One thing I’m thinking is Raoul hated prison – he couldn’t stand being locked up for 23 hours a day. When he was released from prison he swore ‘I’m never ever going back there. I don’t care what happens’. Now that can only mean one thing.”
Samantha, who last saw Moat two months ago when she visited him in jail with Anthony, was last night under armed guard in hospital as officers searched for Moat. As his mother is French it is feared he may have fled to the Continent.
Samantha’s family told yesterday how Moat threatened Samantha and their three-year-old daughter Chanel with a gun last year. And they hit out at detectives for taking 12 hours to release a picture of Moat and warn the public about his identity.
It was not clear yesterday whether he had been released early from tough Durham Prison. If so, jail chiefs and Justice ministers will be under pressure to explain why, as he had a string of previous convictions.
Samantha’s grandmother Ann Hornsby, 69, wept: “I knew something like this would happen. If my beautiful granddaughter dies, I’ll string him up. He is a jealous, paranoid nutter. He controlled Sam completely.”
Ann told how Moat had last year flew into a rage after seeing a Facebook post suggesting Samantha had a new lover – and held Samantha, Chanel and Ann hostage in her home. She said: “He had been on the rampage again and given Sam a real kicking, so she’d been staying with me. He turned up on the doorstep brandishing a gun screaming that Sam had a man in the house and she should let him out to ‘get what’s coming to him’. We barricaded the door and hid in my bedroom. He rang Sam on her mobile and said he was going to shoot us all.
“When I threatened to call the police he said, ‘If you do, I’ll get you all before they get me’. We were so scared we didn’t ring them. After about an hour of begging, he left. We were all too scared to call the police after that, but now I really wish we had. Maybe we could have stopped this happening.”
Ann hit out at police saying: “I think they should have released a picture of Raoul much earlier so people could look out for him or stay away. It’s 12 hours later when it’s come out.” Samantha’s sister Kelly, said: “It’s ridiculous. We knew straight away who it was – no one had to tell us. It’s disgusting it took so long to get a picture out – he could have been going round shooting at all of us and skipped the country.”
Neighbours on the Barley Mow estate, near Birtley, Gateshead, made a string of 999 calls after hearing the gunshots and seeing a man dead on the grass. Mary Hall, 63, who lives opposite, said: “The man shot the girl through the window. I saw a figure of a man with a handgun. Then I saw someone huddled on the green outside. I wondered why he wouldn’t get up.
“When the police and ambulance arrived someone turned him over and his chest was soaked in blood.”
Sam had posted a Facebook message saying she was in a relationship with Raoul Moat in April 2009 but in January this year she added: “Sam Stobbart thinks a certain bloke is a f*****g rite a***hole, grow up and stop thinking bout ur self!” In March this year she changed her status to ‘single’.
Moat was a bouncer on Newcastle’s infamous Bigg Market drinking strip until he was caught carrying a knuckle duster and 5ft Samurai sword in 2005.
Kelly said Moat had “flipped out” after being denied his regular antidepressants and steroids in prison. She said: “He’s been taking steroids as long as I’ve known him. He’s addicted and it gives him violent mood swings. He’s also on antidepressants and used to be a drug dealer, so God knows what he takes.
“Every time he does something he claims diminished responsibility. But he won’t get away with this. He will pay. He’s always been a complete nutcase and waste of space.
She went on: “Sam met him when he was working the doors in Newcastle as a bouncer. He’s made her life a misery ever since. And now he’s almost killed her.
“He may have left his daughter without a mother. What kind of a man would do that?” Police last night warned that Moat should not be approached.
Armed officers swooped on his Newcastle home yesterday afternoon, but there was no sign of him there.
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10 July 2010 Last updated at 08:43 ET
Raoul Moat kills himself after police stand-off
Raoul Moat case
Fugitive gunman Raoul Moat has killed himself after a six-hour stand-off with armed officers, police have confirmed.
A spokesman said the 37-year-old shot himself after being cornered close to a river in Rothbury, Northumberland. He was pronounced dead in hospital at 0220 BST on Saturday.
It has emerged police used a Taser stun gun on Moat.
Officers had been negotiating with Moat, who was spotted near the centre of Rothbury after a week-long manhunt.
Eyewitness Peter Abiston, whose house overlooks the scene of the incident, told the BBC: “From what I can see he shot himself. He lay down and shot himself.
Moat was earlier seen pointing a gun at his own neck
“I think there was two, but there was certainly one shot.”
Other local people overheard some of the negotiations that took place between Moat and the police before he apparently turned his gun on himself.
A guest-house owner, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: “He actually said, the one thing that sticks in my mind, ‘I haven’t got a dad’… and he also said that, ‘nobody cares about me’.”
Police said Moat, a former nightclub bouncer and father-of-three, shot himself at about 0115 BST.
After a gunshot was heard, shouts were heard from officers close to Moat. One was heard to yell several times, “Put that gun down”.
Paramedics were quickly on the scene and Moat was taken by ambulance to Newcastle General Hospital – accompanied by two police cars – but died shortly after arriving.
Officers discovered Moat on the riverbank by the River Coquet at about 1900 BST on Friday.
Expert negotiators were brought in to speak to him, and unconfirmed reports suggested a friend of Moat was also brought inside the police cordon to try to persuade him to surrender.
Because police had contact with Moat prior to his death, the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
There will be lessons learnt here, good and bad on various aspects”
End Quote Andy Redhead Former police firearms adviser
Northumbria Police Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim said: “While the incident has been brought to a close we must be mindful of the impact it has had on many lives.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected.
“I’d like to thank the public, particularly the community of Rothbury, for their continued help throughout the inquiry.
“This has been a difficult time for them and their support has been invaluable.”
An IPCC spokesman said its investigation would look specifically at whether the State did all it could to prevent loss of life.
He said this would include taking witness statements from those involved in the negotiations.
A post-mortem examination will also be carried out to confirm the cause of Moat’s death and what sort of gunshot wound he suffered.
The IPCC report and the post-mortem findings will both be sent to the coroner who will hold an inquest into the death at a later date.
A forensic examination of the scene where Moat died was ongoing on Saturday. The investigation was also focussing on an area close to a culvert near the River Coquet, where it is thought Moat had hidden from searchers.
Sir Alan Beith, Lib Dem MP for Berwick upon Tweed, which includes Rothbury, said the police faced “key questions” about the police investigation into Moat.
A forensics tent has been erected at the scene where Moat shot himself
He added: “The people of the Rothbury area coped superbly with a difficult and dangerous situation and everyone is relieved that it is over.
“Key questions will now have to be investigated by the IPCC, but local people were keen throughout to support the police.
“The first objective now is to get back to normal and welcome visitors and tourists back to this beautiful area.”
The BBC’s Jon Sopel, who is in Rothbury, said: “There is a sense of relief here that people can go on with their lives in safety.
“But there is still a police cordon in place and forensic teams are still trying to work out where exactly Raoul Moat was hiding.
“So effectively Rothbury is a town cut in two at the moment. Life still hasn’t got back to normal quite yet and I suspect it may not do for some time to come.”
Former police firearms adviser, Andy Redhead said: “All the officers involved in this operation are relieved that it’s over.
“And I dare say there is also an element of disappointment that Mr Moat was not persuaded to put the weapon down and surrender.
“I think with any police investigation of this magnitude there are always going to be lessons learnt. There will be lessons learnt here, good and bad on various aspects.”
Moat had been on the run for a week after allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and killing her new partner, Chris Brown.
The attacks took place in the Scafell area of Birtley, near Gateshead, on Saturday 3 July.
In the early hours of Sunday 4 July, Moat is alleged to have shot Pc David Rathband as he sat in his patrol car in East Denton, near Newcastle.
Moat was released from prison on Thursday 1 July.
Northumbria Police said he appeared to have a grudge against the force and in a letter purportedly written by him, he threatened to keep shooting officers until he was dead.
Police later warned of a wider threat to the public.
Jon Sopel said that warning followed the discovery of a dictaphone in a tent used by Moat.
He said the dictaphone contained four hours of recordings in which Moat said he was unhappy with the way details of his private life were being reported and unless that stopped he would start targeting members of the public.
It also emerged Moat had indicated to police he had “significant unhappiness” with what he considered to be misreporting by the media and believed the police were manipulating the media deliberately.
Police said he threatened to harm members of the public for each inaccuracy he perceived.
Psychologists also concluded there was a “high risk” that Moat would be responsible for future violent conduct.
The focus of the manhunt moved to Rothbury when a black Lexus car, which Moat was thought to have been using, was discovered in the town on Tuesday.
Police imposed a 10-mile (16km) exclusion zone around the town and armed officers from forces across the country were brought in to assist in the search.