ITV's crime drama The Hunt for Raoul Moat tells the chilling true tale of the UK's biggest ever manhunt, which unfolded in 2010 after Raoul Moat - a former Newcastle doorman - went on a murderous rampage just two days after being released from prison.


The three-part series gives particular focus to Moat's three victims - his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, her new partner Christopher Brown and police officer David Rathband - as well as officers and a local journalist reporting on the case, rather than Moat himself.

The drama was praised by viewers for putting the spotlight on the victims, although it still received criticism from some, who accused the series of turning the tragedy into 'entertainment'.

So, what is the full true story behind Moat's crimes and the nationwide manhunt which followed, as police searched for him? Read on for everything you need to know about the true story behind ITV's The Hunt for Raoul Moat.

The Hunt for Raoul Moat true story: how did they find him?

Lee Ingleby as Neil Adams, Vineeta Rishi as Nisha Roberts and Sonya Cassidy as Diane Barnwell in The Hunt for Raoul Moat
Lee Ingleby as Neil Adams, Vineeta Rishi as Nisha Roberts and Sonya Cassidy as Diane Barnwell in The Hunt for Raoul Moat. World Productions for ITV1

Between February and July 2010, Moat – a former doorman from Newcastle – served an 18-week sentence in Durham prison for assaulting a nine-year-old relative.

He was released on 1st July, and two days later went to the house of Samantha Stobbart's parents, where Stobbart was staying at the time with her partner, Chris Brown. Stobbart was Moat's ex-girlfriend.

Moat killed Brown by shooting him with a shotgun at close range as he was leaving the house. He then reportedly shot twice through the house's front window, wounding Stobbart in the arm and abdomen.

He fled the scene, and in the early hours of the next morning shot PC David Rathband as he was sitting in his police car. Rathband was permanently blinded in the shooting, and in February 2012 was found hanged at his home having died by suicide.

Both before and following the attacks, Moat was alleged to have made threatening comments in letters and calls to the police.

The shootings led to 160 armed officers being sent on an enormous manhunt to track down Moat, along with snipers, helicopters, anti-terrorist vehicles and an RAF jet. Survivalist Ray Mears was even secretly contacted by the police for his help to track Moat.

Moat was finally found on 9th July 2010, discovered hiding in Cragside, a National Trust property and grounds in Northumberland.

Was Raoul Moat shot?

Matt Stokoe as Raoul Moat in The Hunt for Raoul Moat.
Matt Stokoe as Raoul Moat in The Hunt for Raoul Moat. World Productions for ITV1

What followed was a stand-off between the police and Moat, with the shooter being offered food and water and his friend Tony Laidler being brought to the scene in an attempt to get him to surrender.

Following this, footballer Paul Gascoigne reportedly arrived at the scene wearing a dressing gown and carrying a fishing rod, claiming to know Moat. He was not allowed to be involved in the negotiation, and later claimed to have been on a drugs and alcohol binge and to have become convinced he was "good buddies" with Moat.

On the morning of 10th July, Moat died by gunshot, with a coroner later ruling that he had shot himself in the head.

Associates of Moat, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, were arrested during the manhunt on suspicion of assisting him. Both went on to receive life sentences, after being found guilty of the attempted murder of Rathband, conspiracy to murder and robbery, while Ness was also convicted of Brown's murder.

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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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