The family of Raoul Moat are to pay for a second post mortem, after the first investigation failed to record taser injuries. They say they are trying to prevent a ‘cover-up’.
Moat died after a rain-soaked stand off with police by the river Coquet in Rothbury, Northumberland in the early hours of 10 July.
His brother Angus said yesterday: ‘We’re sure there was a cover-up here. We’re not antagonistic towards the police. That won’t achieve anything. We want to establish what happened for our peace of mind.’
At the opening of the inquest into Raoul Moat’s death last week it was heard that police fired two tasers at him around the same time as the final shot. But the post mortem found no marks consistent with a taser injury, implying his death was caused by a bullet from his own gun.
Moat was shot with two XRep Tasers, shotgun type weapons that are not yet ‘type approved’ by the Home Office. Experts say the XRep Taser is capable of causing lethal injuries when used close up.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation is already asking whether firing the tasers could have made Moat convulse and pull his trigger involuntarily.
Meanwhile, the conclusion of the first post mortem has been thrown into doubt by Moat’s uncle, Charlie Alexander, who identified his nephew’s body. Alexander, who is a former Royal Artillery warrant officer, believes the injuries Moat sustained did not resemble those from a shotgun.
In a statement he said: ‘I think he’s been shot by that and it went right through his head. I want to get to the bottom of this and I won’t stop until I do. I have seen too many shotgun wounds to just accept what has been said. When I identified his body I couldn’t see any injuries on his face. There could be any number of reasons as to why, but I need to hear them explained to me properly with evidence to prove it.’
In 2005, Taser International changed the wording of the Taser from ‘non-lethal’ to ‘less-lethal’. The Taser XREP has a much longer range and is far more powerful than the traditional Taser.
Whereas the traditional Taser X26 sends five seconds of electric shock through a person’s body, the Taser XREP electric shock bullets sends 20 seconds of debilitating pain through its target. It can also trigger a second shock as the person reaches down to touch the target of pain. Even the shortest amount of pain can cause a person to lose control of his or her bodily functions and collapse instantly.