Moat Taser gun was not licensed for police use

The company that supplied the Taser guns used by police in the stand-off with gunman Raoul Moat breached its licence, sources confirmed today.

Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire will write to the Home Affairs Select Committee saying the firm, Pro-Tect Systems, was not licensed to supply the XRep Taser guns to police.

But there was no suggestion that any blame should be attached to the officers involved and the Home Office has stressed that police could use any weapon they saw fit as long as its use was "lawful, reasonable and proportionate".

The XRep Taser, which is fired from a 12-gauge shotgun, was being tested by the Home Office before being approved for use by police forces in England and Wales.

Pro-Tect Systems was licensed to supply the Taser guns to the Home Office for testing, but was not licensed to supply them to police, sources said.

Armed police fired two Tasers at the steroid-addicted former nightclub doorman in an "effort to stop him taking his own life" at the Riverside park area in Rothbury, Northumberland, in the early hours of July 10, an inquest at Newcastle Civic Centre was told.

The stand-off brought to an end one of the biggest manhunts in British history, triggered when Moat shot his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, killed Chris Brown, 29, and blinded Pc David Rathband, 42.

But the precise sequence of events regarding the discharge of the XRep Tasers in relation to Moat firing his sawn-off shotgun has not been established and is under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Steve Reynolds, of the IPCC, told the inquest: "The review of tactics will consider the deployment and use of the XRep Taser."

At the time of the inquest, the Home Office confirmed the XRep Taser was not approved for use by forces in England and Wales and was "subject to testing by the HOSDB (Home Office Scientific Development Branch)".

But the spokesman added: "Legally, police forces have discretion to use any equipment they see fit as long as the use of force is lawful, reasonable and proportionate.

"The process for approval of less lethal weapons is set out in a Home Office code of practice document on police use of firearms which chief constables must 'have regard to'."

Pro-Tect Systems said it could not comment while the IPCC investigation was going on.

But Moat's brother Angus said officers used his brother as a "guinea pig".

"They had not used them before, and that was not the time or the place to conduct an experiment," he said.

"They used Raoul as a guinea pig."

The 40-year-old tax officer, of Shieldfield, Newcastle, went on: "We have said all along we have concerns about the sequence of events that night.

"I am cautiously reassured by the Home Office that there is a legal dimension to this.

"But it seems with regard to this entire matter that we, as the family, are always the last ones to know."

He said the family was still waiting for the results of the second post-mortem examination.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United 1 player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot