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Police 'vindicated' after Moat inquest verdict.

POLICE last night said they were "vindicated" after an inquest jury found that Raoul Moat killed himself and backed officers' attempts to bring him to justice alive.

The panel found officers were right to use shotgun Tasers in an attempt to stop the 37-year-old fugitive killer shooting himself, despite the weapons only being licensed for testing and the marksmen who fired them having never handled them before. The Independent Police Complaints Commission published a report at the conclusion of the three-week inquest, held at Newcastle Crown Court, which did not criticise the police action.

But Moat's half-brother Angus remained sceptical of the Taser use, and outside court said he still believed it was a "mistake".

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Ashman, who led the operation to bring in Moat after the killer went on the run, took the decision to allow marksmen to fire XREP rounds - which have a greater range than conventional Tasers - despite a code of practice banning unauthorised weapons.

After the inquest concluded, he said: "I think the verdict vindicates our actions that week." The jury found that officers were right to use shotgun Tasers, which were intended to incapacitate Moat, allowing officers to make an arrest.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 28, 2011
Words:199
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