Raoul Moat

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Raoul Moat

Raoul Moat


Raoul Moat's 37 years were brought to an end in a tense stand off with police in July 2010 when he committed suicide with the shotgun he had used to kill his ex-girlfriend's partner. Prior to this, the one-time panel beater had hidden from a huge manhunt in the countryside of Tyne and Wear for 3 weeks - during which his evasion of the police made him something of a anti-hero among swathes of the population who seemed to find some resonance in his story.

For a brief spell following his death, a Facebook page called "RIP Raoul Moat you legend" garnered over 30000 fans. The creator of the page - a Siobhan O'Dowd gained national notoriety during an interview with Talksport FM by saying: "You lot all think he’s a bad person because of what you’ve read in the papers" adding, surreally "he hid from police for a week... that were funny. I think he’s a legend for keeping the police on their toes"

The fact that Moat had killed one and blinded another with a shotgun seemed not to be factor.

Such was the furore around Moat's anti-hero status that Prime Minister David Cameron was moved to address the topic during Prime Minister's Questions:

"It is absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer, full stop, end of story. I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man. There should be sympathy for his victims and the havoc he wreaked in that community. There should be no sympathy for him."

Nonetheless, it is clear that Moat's brief moment of 'fame' touched a chord with a certain proportion of the public. Perhaps they - like he - struggled to deal with officialdom and the constraints placed upon their lives, unequipped to navigate the nexus of laws and morality that guide most people and suspicious of the police in particular.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 1st March 2012 | © Weird Island 2010-2020
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