Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Mother Tells of 'Hell' at End of Inquest

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Mother Tells of 'Hell' at End of Inquest

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Scott Reporter

DESPITE threats made, the precise risk posed by gunman Raoul Moat was not known, a coroner has concluded.

In his ruling on the final day of the inquest into the death of victim Chris Brown, Coroner Terence Carney recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing. Mr Carney said that despite the prison service and Northumbria Police being aware of Moat's threat to harm, the exact risk was not known.

He said: "My finding is that Christopher Brown was unlawfully killed by Raoul Moat, the precise risk he presented not being known."

During his summary at the end of the inquest, which lasted just over a week at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Carney highlighted failures by both the prison service and Northumbria Police.

However, he concluded that any failures had not directly caused Mr Brown's death.

"We got tantalisingly close to a point of the information being actually known as opposed to speculatively known," he said.

"I am not satisfied that the information we have heard and the information which was available was used appropriately.

"But I am not satisfied that a failure to use that information has directly caused Christopher's death or indeed contributed to it," he added.

Moat gunned down 29-year-old Mr Brown in Birtley, Gateshead, just two days after he was released from HMP Durham in July 2010.

He then went on the run shooting and blinding PC David Rathband before the ordeal ended with Moat taking his own life in Rothbury, Northumberland.

Mr Brown had been in a relationship with Moat's former partner Samantha Stobbart for a matter of weeks before his death. In his summing up Mr Carney reminded the court that Ms Stobbart was a victim too and the blame for the situation lay completely with Moat.

During the inquest, evidence was heard of missed opportunities and delays in a Security Information Report (SIR) containing information about threats Moat made while in prison to "seriously assault" his ex-partner Ms Stobbart being acted on. …

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