Mother of Raul Moat victim flees inquest in tears

The Northern Echo: INQUEST HELD: Chris Brown INQUEST HELD: Chris Brown

The mother of murdered Christopher Brown fled his inquest in tears as his killer's ex-girlfriend described the moments he was gunned down by Raoul Moat.

Samantha Stobbart said her new partner Mr Brown knew he may become involved in a fight with her ex if they ever met - but refused to hide away as he had "done nothing wrong".

The 24-year-old sobbed as she told an inquest into the 29-year-old's death in July 2010 that she believed Mr Brown deliberately stepped between her and killer Moat when he was shot.

Miss Stobbart said she and Mr Brown were leaving a neighbour's house in Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, together when they were confronted by the gunman.

She said: "He was just there. He shot Chris.

"It was so quick, he was just there all of a sudden, he just appeared within seconds."

Coroner Terence Carney asked Miss Stobbart if she believed Mr Brown, who was living in Gateshead at the time, deliberately stepped in between her and Moat and she replied, through floods of tears: "Yes."

Mr Carney asked Miss Stobbart if she believed Mr Brown knew he was there and she said: "Yes, because I shouted there's Raoul, as soon as I saw him jump up.

"He (Mr Brown) staggered out to the field.

"I was shouting. I went back in the garden. That was when the second shot went off, as I was trying to go into the garden."

Miss Stobbart said she went back into the neighbour's house that she and Mr Brown had just left and looked out of the window.

"I remember standing at the window, just looking at Chris on his knees.

"I didn't see Raoul, I didn't see him then.

"Then he shot me."

Mr Brown's mum Sally Brown left the Newcastle hearing in tears as her son's final moments were described to the coroner.

Miss Stobbart said she is still unable to use her arm properly more than three years after it was badly injured in the shooting.

She said surgery on damaged internal organs was successful.

The shootings sparked a six-day manhunt for Moat, who eventually took his own life after being cornered in Rothbury, Northumberland.

Moat also shot PC David Rathband in the face, blinding him. The officer was found hanged at his home in Blyth, in February 2012.

The inquest continues.

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