'I blame police for my son's murder' says mother of man killed by Raoul Moat

THE mother of the man shot dead by Raoul Moat has blamed police for failing to warn her son that his life was in danger. Sally Brown also criticised her son's girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, for antagonising Moat, her former boyfriend, by telling him she was dating a police officer.

Police search drains in Rothbury during the week-long manhunt for Raoul Moat. He is thought to have hidden in a storm drain which led to a series of tunnels under the Northumberland village. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA

Chris Brown, a karate instructor, was shot dead and Ms Stobbart was wounded by Moat. The incident triggered the week-long manhunt that ended with his suicide.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking from her home in Slough, Berkshire yesterday, Mrs Brown insisted Northumbria Police should have protected her son. She said: "If he (Moat] was such a threat and they (the police] were warned, they could have warned him (Mr Brown], they could have been keeping an eye on him (Moat]."

Her daughter, Sally, added: "Maybe they couldn't have stopped it but they could have done more."

Mr Brown, 29, was targeted by Moat because he had begun a relationship with Ms Stobbart, 22. He had recently moved to the Gateshead area to take up a job as a karate instructor.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is already investigating whether the police responded adequately to a warning from Durham Prison that Moat might intend to cause serious harm to Ms Stobbart.

Mrs Brown added: "When he (Moat] came out and they (police] had that warning, whoever got that warning should have taken it further."

She then went on to say: "Yes, I blame them (police] but I also blame Samantha because Samantha knew what this man was like.

"She knew what this man was capable of, yet she put my son up front. Why tell him my son was a policeman? Why do that? Why goad the man (Moat]? She knew what he was capable of. Why do it? And, yeah, I blame her."

Sally Brown added: "The biggest thing of all is that we haven't had a 'Sorry' from anybody, none of the family."

Her mother added: "Not that it would make a difference.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I like to think that, if one of my children had done something like that, I would be the first to say, 'I'm sorry for what they've done'. But nothing, not a thing."

Ms Brown was also critical of the attitude to some people to Moat, saying: "I don't understand now, for some reason, why he is being praised and seen as some hero. It's wrong."

Mrs Brown continued: "I saw a clip yesterday of his brother saying it was a public execution. What did he do to my boy if he didn't publicly execute him?" She said her son had been shot three times in the head by Moat during the early hours of 3 July: "What is that if it is not an execution?"

Meanwhile, a friend of the killer insisted he would have eventually surrendered to police and handed over his gun.

Tony Laidler went to Rothbury on Saturday in an attempt to help Moat, but said police made him leave without giving him the chance to speak to him.

Yesterday he said: "I think I could have actually got him out of it because he didn't want to be shot.

"He was walking through the town so people could see him because he was sick of what was going on. He wanted to be caught."

Mr Laidler, who knew Moat, 37, for more than 30 years, criticised police for twice firing a Taser at the fugitive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "I think if police didn't try and rush him with their Tasers he would have probably passed his gun over in the end anyway."

His comments came as it appeared former nightclub bouncer Moat may have used a network of underground storm drains in Rothbury, Northumberland, to evade capture for nearly a week.

Meanwhile, according to reports yesterday, two three-men "snatch squads" had worked their way behind Moat as he held the gun to his head on the riverbank. Their plan was to surprise him and pin his arms to his sides.

However, just before they reached him Moat shouted out: "Tell the kids I love them. Tell Sam I'm sorry."

As officers believed he was about to kill himself, the order was given to fire Tasers - but one missed and the other failed to immobilise him.

A police source said his final word was "bastards", at which point he shot himself.

Staff from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating the case, visited Moat's family yesterday.

The investigation will look into why officers used Tasers on Moat during the stand-off and also consider whether Northumbria Police took adequate action following a warning from Durham Prison that Moat might intend to harm Ms Stobbart following his release on 1 July.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A spokesman for the Prisons Service said last night: "HMP Durham is fully co-operating with the IPCC in this matter."

• PC 'bears no malice' against Raoul Moat for shooting

• Ten questions about the case

• Flowers and letters left in tribute to gunmanx