ITV's new drama The Hunt For Raoul Moat follows the true story of the infamous manhunt for Raoul Moat, who shot three people in the space of 24 hours in July 2010 before going on the run.


The three-part drama focuses on the victims of Moat's crimes, including police officer David Rathband, Moat's ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and her new boyfriend Chris Brown, who is played by Young Wallander's Josef Davis.

What happened to Chris Brown?

Chris Brown was a 29-year-old karate instructor who met 22-year-old Samantha Stobbart shortly after he moved from Berkshire to Tyneside.

"The poor bloke had come up to the North East to get away from issues down there," retired Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson said in an interview with Chronicle Live on the 10th anniversary of Moat's shooting spree.

"He had gone out knocking on doors to drum up some interest in karate classes, and that's how he met Sam [Stobbart]. He started the relationship not knowing the full extent of the issues with Moat."

Sam had been in a bullying and controlling relationship with Moat for six years, and had a three-year-old daughter with him. She had ended things when Moat was in prison, serving an 18-month sentence for assaulting a child. She also told him about her new relationship with Chris, but to keep Moat away Sam lied and told him that Chris was a Northumbria police officer.

Moat was released from prison on 1st July, 2010, and two days later he tracked Sam down to a house in Gateshead where she was staying with Chris.

As reported by Chronicle Live, Moat lay in wait close to the house, listening to the couple through an open window.

"Moat sat under that window for an hour and he was listening to Sam and Christopher and they were talking about him," Adamson said. "I think it was clear Christopher had been told there might be a confrontation at some stage. But never for one minute did he think Moat would be waiting for him with a sawn-off shotgun."

As Sam and Chris left the house in the early hours of 3rd July, Moat fired his gun, shooting Chris twice. He then reloaded and fired again, shooting Sam through the window of the house she had run back into. Sam survived, but Chris was killed.

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Chris holding Samantha's face gently

"When I think back to that week, I always think of Christopher," Adamson continued. "He was assassinated as he came out of a house, but poor Christopher was the forgotten victim. People always think of Moat, then Samantha and David [police officer David Rathband, who Moat also shot while on the run] first."

At the time of the shooting, local residents spoke to reporters about their shock. One neighbour told the Northern Echo that she saw Moat fire through the living room window at Sam.

"The man shot through the window and shot the girl," they said. "I saw a figure of a man with a handgun. It's all very shocking as there are a lot of old age pensioners around here and you don't expect this to happen."

In a 2020 documentary, Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story, Chris's mum Sally talked about the moment she learned what had happened to her son (via Daily Mirror).

"We were going to a birthday party that afternoon on the estate where we live and the police pulled up," she remembered.

"As they've got out the car, we said, 'Oh God, you know, someone's in trouble.' Then they've come over to us and asked for me. Well, that was it. That's when the ground opened, basically. I really can't remember much after that. It was just… a blur."

Chris's sister Beckie didn't believe the news that her brother had been killed. "I'd told them that they'd got it wrong, they need to go double check and it wasn't until they'd mentioned a tattoo that he had on his shoulder, that's when reality kicked in," she said.

Samantha Stobbart sat at a table in a bar with Chris Brown having a drink

Hundreds of mourners turned out for Chris’s funeral on 6th August, 2010, with all those attending wearing bright colours at the request of the family.

Police were later criticised for not warning Sam and Chris that Moat was a potential danger to them. On the day Moat was released, he had posted on his Facebook page: "Just got out of jail, I've lost everything, my business, my property and to top it all off my lass of six years has gone off with someone else. I'm not 21 and I can't rebuild my life. Watch and see what happens."

However, at an inquest into Moat's crimes in 2013, Newcastle coroner Terence Carney said he was not satisfied that police failings led to Chris Brown's death.

He said that although the police and prison service were aware of threats Raoul Moat had made while in prison, the specific risk he posed was not known at the time.

"My finding is that Christopher Brown was unlawfully killed by Raoul Moat but the precise risk he presented was not known," Carney said (via BBC News).

"I'm not satisfied that the information we have heard and was available was used appropriately. But I'm not satisfied that a failure to use this information has directly caused Christopher Brown's death or contributed to it."

Sally Brown, Chris's mum, released a statement after the inquest. "Christopher’s death has been horrendous for the whole of our family, it has been hell," she wrote.

"I hope that no one else in the future should have to go through what we have gone through."

The Hunt for Raoul Moat begins airing on ITV1 at 9pm on Sunday 16th April. For more news, interviews and features, visit our Drama hub or find something to watch now with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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