Taser used on Moat did not have Home Office approval

The two police officers who fired at Raoul Moat with stun guns were using weapons that they had received little or no training for and which had not been approved by the Home Office.

The inquest into the death of Mr Moat heard yesterday how he had been fired at by two firearms officers using XRep Tasers – shotgun-style weapons which can reach further and are more powerful than the standard hand-held Tasers carried by most police forces.

The Independent has also learned that the weapons, which are currently being tested by the Home Office, were ordered by Northumbria Police only last week – purely for use in the search for Mr Moat – and arrived just days before being fired at the fugitive.

It is understood that the XRep guns arrived as late as last Thursday and were handed out to firearms officers from Northumbria and other forces who had travelled to help the hunt for Mr Moat.

The officers had just hours to familiarise themselves with the weapon, which had never been used in a live situation in Britain before. A stand-off between Mr Moat and the police started on Friday evening and ended when the former nightclub bouncer shot himself in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was taken to hospital and later died.

The inquest into Mr Moat's death gave the preliminary cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head and said it was not clear whether the Tasers were fired before or after Moat turned his gun on himself.

Steve Reynolds, senior investigator at the Independent Police Complaints Commission, told the hearing in Newcastle upon Tyne that the officers, from West Yorkshire police, discharged their Tasers in an apparent attempt to prevent Mr Moat, 37, from killing himself.

Reynolds said that at this stage "the precise sequence of events regarding the discharge of the Taser has not been established and is under investigation".

Given that the weapons have not been approved by the Home Office, the decision of Northumbria Police to buy and use them was described as "rare" by police sources.

The XRep Taser has a range of 100ft rather than 21ft, and has an anti-tamper device so that if the victim tries to remove the high-voltage missile it delivers an electric shock to their hands. It also stuns the victim for 20 seconds – far longer than the less powerful hand-held weapon.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission yesterday said that it was investigating how and when the force acquired the guns and what training was provided to officers.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that the guns had not been approved by its scientific development branch but added: "Police forces have discretion to use any equipment they see fit as long as the use of force is lawful, reasonable and proportionate."

The seven-day manhunt for Mr Moat started on 3 July when he was suspected of killing his former partner Samantha Stobbart's boyfriend, Chris Brown, and injuring her, in Birtley, Gateshead.

Next he shot police constable David Rathband, 42, in his patrol car in East Denton, Newcastle, before going to ground and finally emerging in the Northumberland village of Rothbury.

It emerged that Mr Moat had been released from prison on the Thursday before his rampage and that the prison had told Northumbria Police that he had made threats against Ms Stobbart, 22.

Yesterday, three men were arrested in connection with assisting an offender. It brings the total number of people arrested in connection with Mr Moat's rampage to 10. Eight have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. Two men – Karl Ness, 26, from Dudley, in North Tyneside, and Qhuram "Sean" Awan, 23, from Blyth in Northumberland – have been charged with conspiracy to murder.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

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
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits