Police 'didn't act on Moat threats'

Raoul Moat killed himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, following a huge police manhunt

Raoul Moat killed himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, following a huge police manhunt

First published in National News © by

A police watchdog has outlined how warnings that gunman Raoul Moat had threatened to harm his former partner while he was in prison were not acted upon by officers, according to reports.

Moat shot his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and her boyfriend Chris Brown two days after he was released from Durham Prison in July 2010. Mr Brown died but Miss Stobbart survived.

Moat, 37, shot Pc David Rathband the day after and later killed himself in Rothbury, Northumberland, following a huge police manhunt.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated officers' involvement with Moat and, in its report last year, said that "intelligence came to light that whilst in prison he had allegedly made threats to cause serious harm to his girlfriend".

This report said: "The intelligence was forwarded to Northumbria Police during the afternoon of 2 July and this is subject of a separate IPCC Investigation Report."

This second report into the handling of the intelligence has not yet been published but a draft seen by the BBC says prison reports about Moat's threats were not acted upon.

According to the BBC, the IPCC report says Moat made the threats in a conversation with another inmate who said he was threatening serious harm. It said the prison's Security Information Report was passed between various prison in-trays and read and signed by at least three senior officers.

Information was passed to Northumbria Police's Public Protection Unit but the IPCC report also said there was confusion over the identity of Moat's partner. It said information was also passed to the Northumbria Police Force Intelligence Bureau but staff had gone home for the night.

But the report said there was no evidence of misconduct by two police officers.

Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson, of Northumbria Police, told the BBC the information from the prison was limited and there was no suggestion of an immediate threat to life. He said: "To try and suggest that we could have prevented that I think is a step too far. I am convinced he would have done what he intended doing, such was his focus."

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