Family gathers for gunman Raoul Moat's funeral

Family and friends gathered to pay tribute to fugitive killer Raoul Moat at his funeral today.

The private ceremony was being held at the West Road Crematorium, less than a mile from his former home in Newcastle's Fenham Hall Drive.



The gunman's family had previously said he would not be buried for fears his grave would become a shrine to anti-police ghouls.



Moat, 37, sparked a huge manhunt last month after shooting his ex-lover Sam Stobbart, 22, in Birtley, Gateshead, and killing her new boyfriend Chris Brown. The next day he blasted unarmed police officer David Rathband in the face, leaving him blind.



Moat hid for a week before he was cornered in Rothbury, Northumberland, where he ended his life following a six-hour stand-off with police.



Sam's "heart-broken" half-sister Kelly Stobbart said she wished he was not dead.



Before the funeral, she said she felt guilty for the steroid addicted killer's death after goading him to kill himself.



She predicted Moat would rather "go out in a blaze of glory" than give himself up after he went on the run last month.



She had urged the former doorman to hand himself in to police or to "do the decent thing" and kill himself.



The 27-year-old sobbed as she spoke of her regret at those words, and said: "I don't hate him and I wish he was not dead.



"I can't believe it has all ended like this."



Miss Stobbart was forced into hiding when Moat went on the rampage.



She was told by police that her life could be in danger and was taken to a safe house after calling Moat a coward who "did not have the bottle" to shoot himself.



She had said: "He wants a stand-off with the police, so they'll either have to shoot him in the knees or kill him.



"He wants to be known as a guy who went to prison because he shot a load of coppers or who died trying."



Miss Stobbart said today: "It has all ended wrong.



"I know what I said and I can't take it back. I'm absolutely cut up inside, it is doing my head in.



"There is no justice."



Miss Stobbart said she and her family had not been invited to the funeral.



"It's a private ceremony and they do not want us there."



Meanwhile, reports that friends planned to scatter Moat's ashes in Rothbury were met with anger locally.



Steven Bridgett, Northumberland County Councillor for Rothbury division, said since Moat killed himself, a steady stream of ghouls had come to visit the spot where he died and take pictures of themselves in the culvert where he may have hid.



"This is attracting even more attention to this community that we do not want," he said.



"The village wants to move on from the events of the last month and forget about what happened.



"If any of his friends and family have any sense they would know better than to do this at the site where he died and make it even more of a memorial for all the idiots who come into the village."



An initial post-mortem examination carried out the day after Moat died on the banks of the River Coquet found the cause of death to be a gunshot wound consistent with the sawn-off shotgun the former doorman was carrying.



But after seeing Moat's body for themselves and hearing that police marksmen fired Tasers at around the same time as he died, the family was left with unanswered questions.



They paid £600 for a second post-mortem examination, the results of which may be released in a statement next week.



Around 150 mourners gathered outside the crematorium's West Chapel ahead of the funeral.



Behind Blue Eyes by The Who was played as they filed into the service.



Moat's brother Angus embraced the pall bearers who carried the coffin from the hearse.



Warm sun broke through the overcast skies as the funeral began.



Around 40 members of the media camped in the crematorium grounds opposite the mourners.



Many men wore all black, some of them powerfully built like body builders or doormen.



His uncle Charlie Alexander, 72, wore his regimental blazer and tie. He was a Warrant Officer with the Royal Artillery.



Tony Laidler, a friend of Moat, was one of the six pall bearers, as was tax officer Angus Moat, 39, from Byker.



Tributes included the word 'dad' in white carnations.



One bouquet from his brother had a card reading: "Raoul, this didn't have to end like this. Sleep tight bruv, until later, Angus."



Another card said: "You were always on my mind, you were always on my mind, love D."



The funeral lasted around 20 minutes.



Angus Moat and other family members inspected the flowers laid on the grass outside the crematorium.



Afterwards Angus and Mr Alexander made a brief statement to the media.



It said: "Raoul Moat, dear brother, nephew, father and friend.



"The Moat family and the Alexander family now ask that we be allowed to mourn Raoul's passing with the privacy and with respect.



"We understand there is an element of public interest and from now on we view this as an investigation into the procedures surrounding the events of recent weeks.



"We have instructed a solicitor to act for us.



"We are now moved to cooperate as much as possible with the relevant authorities to allow the investigation to proceed.



"We will make no further comment regarding the ongoing inquest into the circumstances of Raoul's death."



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