I was hostage, says friend of Moat


Karl Ness, 26, denies being an accomplice of killer Raoul Moat

A friend of Raoul Moat accused of helping his murderous rampage has told a court of the moment he was taken hostage at gunpoint.

Karl Ness, 26, denies the prosecution claim that he was a “willing accomplice” of the shotgun killer, who blasted his ex-partner, executed her new boyfriend then 24 hours later blinded unarmed Pc David Rathband in July.

Ness believed Moat had killed himself, rather than seriously injuring Samantha Stobbart and killing Chris Brown that night, he told a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Hours after the double-shooting, Moat turned up at the home of a relative of Ness’s girlfriend in Newcastle’s West End. Ness and co-accused Qhuram Awan, 23, were summoned.

Ness, giving evidence in his defence, said Moat was waving a gun around in the kitchen. With him was Tara Collins, Ness’s girlfriend.

Moat explained in detail how he had blasted Mr Brown three times, then shot Ms Stobbart. He said the killer claimed he had only meant to cause her a “surface wound” so she would receive compensation. Moat then ordered Ness and Awan to buy two phones and fill Awan’s car with petrol, the defendant claimed, while Ms Collins stayed in the house with the ex-doorman.

After the two returned from buying the phones, Ness believed Moat would drive off alone in Awan’s black Lexus. Instead, Moat ordered Ness and Awan to go with him, he told the court.

Earlier, Ness told of his shock when Moat produced a gun for the first time. He was with his friend in a van heading to Birtley, Gateshead, where Ms Stobbart lived. He stayed in the van while Moat hid outside the property where Ms Stobbart was socialising. Eventually he heard a shot.

“I thought he had killed himself,” Ness said. “I heard a lot of screaming. I broke down, I was shaking, I was crying.” Ness drove off from the scene, he told the court.

Ness denies murdering Chris Brown. Both men deny conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, a firearms offence and robbing a takeaway.

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