Raoul Moat's heart 'still beating' at A&E

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The Independent Online

Raoul Moat's heart was still beating when he arrived at hospital after shooting himself in the head, his inquest heard today.







A paramedic described seeing the gunman take a deep breath as he lay on the ground fatally injured in Rothbury, Northumberland, last July.



He was part of an emergency response team that battled to save the former doorman's life.



North East Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) manager Simon Swallow said the gunman had a "strong, normal" heart rhythm but was not breathing during the 35-minute dash from Rothbury to Newcastle General Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.



He rushed from a police armed response vehicle to Moat's stricken body after hearing "a loud bang", the jury at Newcastle Crown Court heard.



Moat had lifted his sawn-off shotgun to his right temple and pulled the trigger.



Mr Swallow said he had to ask a policeman where Moat had been shot.



He said: "I know it sounds quite bizarre bearing in mind we are talking about a shotgun wound to the head but he had his hood up and a cap on.



"The policeman gestured with his arm and I looked very briefly. It was quite a strange atmosphere."



Asked by Newcastle Coroner David Mitford whether Moat showed any sign of life, Mr Swallow said: "Not initially but soon after, and I'm talking seconds, he actually drew a large breath.



"After that large single breath he did not draw another."



Mr Swallow said his team would try to save the life of any casualty who was breathing or whose heart was still beating.



The former doorman was connected to intravenous drips and fitted with a breathing mask and electrocardiogram heart monitor.



He said: "His heart was fine, in a normal sinus rhythm. He had a really strong output. His heart was normal.



"But he was not breathing; he was in respiratory arrest.



"It was a difficult situation to be in, knowing the extent of the injury."



He continued to treat Moat "all the way to the hospital" where an accident and emergency team including a neurosurgeon was waiting.



Cross-examining, John Beggs asked: "Despite your best efforts, that shotgun injury was absolutely non-survivable; there is absolutely no way he could have survived it?"



"That is fair to say," Mr Swallow replied.



As Moat's body was wheeled on a trolley from the back of the ambulance, Mr Swallow noticed a "strange-looking thing" hanging by wires from the top end of his stretcher.



"It was not a piece of medical equipment; that's why I looked at it," he said.



The inquest has heard how Moat was hit by a non-lethal round from an experimental shotgun Taser, which was designed on impact to burst apart on wires and deliver an electric shock.



The inquest heard how torrential rain prevented Moat's body being carried to the hospital by air.



The 37-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival at Newcastle General Hospital in July last year.



The six-hour stand-off in Rothbury, Northumberland, ended a huge hunt for Moat who had shot his ex-partner, Sam Stobbart, murdered her new boyfriend, Chris Brown, and later blinded Pc David Rathband.



The inquest at Newcastle Crown Court continues.

PA