Moat's brother describes 'cry of anguish' from man who suffered too much

Family suggest police Taser caused rain-soaked fugitive's death

The brother of Raoul Moat yesterday spoke out to criticise the portrayal of his sibling as a "Rambo" style character saying he was a mentally disturbed man who had cracked under stress.

Angus Moat insisted his younger brother had been misinterpreted and was, in reality, a sensitive individual who had been pushed over the edge.

"His actions – although I appreciate were absolutely horrendous and although I wish he hadn't gone ahead and done what he did – were a cry of anguish," he said.

"Raoul has been made out to be some kind of Terminator, Rambo character; a psycho... and it could not be more untrue.

"That is not the brother I knew. He was sensitive – perhaps too sensitive, which might have been what led him down this dark path.

"Perhaps he suffered one too many slights; one too many prongs; one too many buttons pressed."

Yesterday the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it would be investigating the circumstances surrounding Moat's release from Durham Prison, whose staff warned that he may intend to harm his ex-girlfriend but no action was taken, as well as the police use of Taser guns at the time he was surrounded.

Angus Moat suggested the stun guns, which Northumbria Police have admitted using twice, may have triggered his death at 1.15am on Saturday.

"You discharge a Taser on a man who is soaked to the skin, in a rainstorm, who has got a gun pointed at his head, with his finger on the trigger? He's going to go into muscle spasm and there's going to be an involuntary reaction in every muscle in his body, including his finger muscles, which are on the trigger of the gun," he said, adding that far from a "psycho" his brother was "friendly, generous, loyal, warm".

Mr Moat, who had not seen his brother for seven years, said he had offered to speak to him but police said it would exacerbate the situation. He added he had come from a "fairly dysfunctional background with very little maternal affection" and suffered a string of failed relationships in a desperate attempt to form a stable family.

He continued: "He was just sitting there in the open, in no cover, crying about the fact he had no family and no Dad and that nobody loved him. That was not true."

The gunman's uncle Charlie Alexander also complained that he had offered to reason with his nephew but police did not get back to him, adding: "If the police are so keen to get this defused and they want to talk him down and negotiate and his family are figuring so prominently in what he is saying, then why didn't they go for that option?" The post-mortem, the family said, indicated he had died as a result of a gunshot wound from his own weapon, but mentioned no sign of Taser injuries, just marks consistent with sleeping rough. Yesterday police continued to search the Rothbury area, where Moat was found. Assistant Chief Constable Greg Vant said: "There is some intelligence that Raoul Moat may have had more than one weapon and it is only prudent with the safety of the public in mind not to rule out such a possibility."

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: "Early indications show that gunshots were not fired by police officers and this will of course form part of the IPCC independent investigation. It is also understood that a police officer discharged a Taser and our investigation will also look at this. The IPCC has now two independent investigations. The first relates to the intelligence from the prison authorities on Mr Moat's release and the second his death. I have decided that there will be one investigation covering both these aspects."

Police have arrested seven people in relation to the case. Karl Ness, 26, of Dudley, North Tyneside, and Qhuram Awan, 23, of Blyth, Northumberland, have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and possessing a firearm with intent. Both men were remanded in custody when they appeared in court on Thursday.

Four other men and one woman have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and bailed.

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