Raoul Moat's ex-partner claims gunman abused her

The former girlfriend of Raoul Moat said yesterday the gun killer raped her and beat her regularly.

Samantha Stobbart said Moat attacked her at home a year after they broke up. She said: "I was crying my eyes out and shouting at him to stop. But he pinned me down so I couldn't move, forced himself on me and raped me.

"I don't know how long it lasted. It seemed forever. It was an evil thing to do. He was savage about it."

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She also said Moat would slap her "every other day" and once punched her in the back, and she denied claims by Moat's uncle, Charlie Alexander, that she had goaded him into a murderous rage. Ms Stobbart said: "It was him goading me, not the other way round."

Moat went on the run after shooting his ex-lover and killing her new boyfriend Chris Brown in Birtley, Gateshead, then shooting unarmed policeman in Newcastle the next day. He had just been released from prison.

Britain's most wanted man was found after a week-long search. He died following a six-hour stand-off with police which was beamed around the world by television.