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.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world