Prison officers were warned Raoul Moat would kill someone when he was released from prison, an inquest heard.
More than three years after Moat went on a shooting rampage – killing love rival Chris Brown; wounding Samantha Stobbart, Mr Brown’s then partner and Moat’s ex; and shooting PC Rathband – an inquest has begun into Mr Brown’s death.
On the first day of the inquest into the death of Mr Brown – Moat’s first victim – evidence was heard that prison officers had been told of the gunman’s dangerous state of mind.
The hearing at Newcastle Crown Court heard evidence from a witness who knew Moat at HMP Durham.
The witness, named only as N1 due to legal reasons, said he told a prison officer Moat would end up killing someone around the time the killer was released.
“It was sort of an off-the-cuff comment, his name was mentioned and I believe I said words to the effect ‘He’s a lunatic and will end up killing somebody’,” he said.
The death of Mr Brown on July 3, 2010, came just two days after Moat’s release from prison.
Moat gunned down karate instructor Mr Brown and also shot Ms Stobbart, wounding her, in Birtley, Gateshead.
N1 also told the inquest that Moat had a list of five people to seek revenge on once he was released.
These were Ms Stobbart, her new partner, Ms Stobbart’s mother, a social worker he blamed for taking his children away and a psychologist who wrote a report he did not like.
“I thought he might have hurt somebody, I did not think he would go to the extremes that he did,” N1 told the court.
N1 also explained that Moat flew into jealous rages during the break-down of his relationship with Ms Stobbart, and that phone conversations with her would leave him very upset and angry.
He also said Moat had no intention of returning to prison.
“That’s something Raoul made very very clear – he would not come back to prison, whatever happened,” said N1.
Moat was also said to boast of his access to firearms and explosives and N1 told the inquest Moat had previously discussed “suicide by cop”. The inquest also heard Moat flew into a rage when Ms Stobbart allegedly told him that her new partner was “younger, fitter and much harder” than he was.
Mr Brown had moved from Slough, Berkshire, to the region in October 2009.
The inquest into his death is expected to last two weeks, but Coroner Terence Carney said the law did not allow him to return a verdict which would go against the findings of a related criminal case.
In a statement read to the inquest, Mr Brown’s mother Sally said her son had not mentioned his relationship with Ms Stobbart before his death.
“I did not know about Samantha until then as Christopher had not mentioned her to me,” she said.
Mrs Brown also said in her statement that her family had been through hell since Mr Brown’s death.
“I can not think of anything worse than burying your own child,” she said.
“I can not find the words to describe how hard it has been.”
Mrs Brown said she last spoke to her son about two days before he was killed.
She stated: “Chris was a typical lad, his friends said that he was like Marmite, you either loved him or hated him but if you loved him you had a friend for life. He was very loyal, he was happy-go-lucky and active. He could not sit still.”
She said she believed her son had moved to the North East for a fresh start after coming out of a bad relationship.
At the end of her statement, Mrs Brown said she thought a lot of the focus had been on Moat throughout the ordeal.
“Nobody knew Chris in the North East and I think some of the focus on him has been lost,” she stated.
The inquest continues.