This article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.


In 2010, Raoul Moat was released from Durham Prison after serving a four-month sentence for assaulting a family member.

Just two days later, he shot his ex-girlfriend and trainee hairdresser Samantha Stobbart and her new partner Chris Brown, murdering the latter.

"Raoul just fired and left me fighting for my life on the floor," she told the News of the World (via BBC News). "Somehow my arm ended up in front of me as a block, and the doctors have turned around to me and said if my arm wasn't there, then I would have died... it took all the pressure and force from hitting my organs, really."

Moat then went on the run for over a week, during which time he shot and blinded a police officer, before he was eventually tracked down by authorities. After a tense stand-off lasting more than six hours, he killed himself.

Now, over a decade later, Moat’s horrific crimes have been dramatised in ITV’s three-part series The Hunt for Raoul Moat.

If you’ve already watched the series and are wondering what happened to Stobbart, who is portrayed by Sally Messham in the drama, read on to find out.

Who is Samantha Stobbart?

Stobbart met Moat in 2004 when she was just 16. He was 15 years older than her. In an interview with ITV News, Stobbart's half-sister Kelly said their relationship, which was on and off for six years, was mired in domestic violence, with Stobbart leaving him on a number of occasions.

In court, Stobbart said (via The Guardian) that Moat had a "Jekyll and Hyde split personality" and she'd previously told police investigators that she was "very worried, frightened, really scared" about what he'd do when he was released from prison.

"I expected he would flip his lid and that there would be trouble; he'd come looking for Chris," she said. "I had told him the relationship was at an end but he would not have it. He would not take no for an answer."

But Stobbart didn't believe he was capable of doing what he did.

Samantha and her friend lying on the grass together

In another interview (via The Guardian), her sister Kelly discussed his "unpredictable" outbursts, adding: "He loves the fact that he thinks people are scared of him."

On one occasion, Moat threatened to attack Kelly's brother, and he also turned up at Stobbart's grandmother's house with a gun because he believed she was with another man. His neighbours referred to him as "bully boy".

Sally Messham, who portrays Samantha in the series, said: "He was both physically and mentally abusive towards her. Moat's emotional manipulation and later taunting is just beyond belief."

Stobbart and Moat's three-year-old daughter Chanel was inside the house during his attack.

Where is Samantha Stobbart now?

In an interview with The People in 2013, Stobbart said that she had considered taking her own life, but decided not to because of her child.

"I can't imagine how horrible it must be to lose your sight," she said of David Rathband. "But I do have an inkling of how he must have felt. I know how low I have felt and there were lots of times when I thought about suicide. I just thought, 'I can't do this any more.'

"But then I've got my little girl, and I would look at her and remember why I had to live."

She added: "If I had lost my eyesight and couldn't see her, I don't think I’d be here either."

Samantha Stobbart sat on her bed, arms resting on her thighs, with a sad expression on her face

Stobbart also revealed that she would sleep with a light on due to flashbacks and a fear of being attacked by Moat's supporters.

"All I have to do is shut my eyes and I'm there," she said. "Chris is lying on the grass, dead. And Raoul is outside. He has a dead look on his eyes, like the lights are on but no one is there. That picture of him that night will stay with me forever. I have flashbacks all the time, and they wake me up in the middle of the night.

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"But that isn’t the only reason I'm scared of the dark. There are hundreds of people out there who blame me. That's why we have moved three times in two years, why I'm now living with my parents, and why I'm always looking over my shoulder. I think I’ll be doing that for the rest of my life."

Sam's half-sister Kelly recently criticised the ITV drama in an interview with the Mirror.

"We’re lucky our Sam survived," she said. "ITV don’t realise the impact this will have on the people involved. It still gives me nightmares and I suffer PTSD. I'm so sick of hearing Raoul's name, and I'm so sick of him being on TV.

"I was only made aware of this latest drama when I was tagged in a post the Evening Chronicle shared about it. My whole family and I all feel that it should be left in the past. So many people blame her for what happened on social media and troll her. This is something we can never forget but we would like to move on from it."

Commenting on the series, executive producer Jake Lushington of World Productions, said the aim is to "shine a light on a major piece of British history – the biggest manhunt there ever was – and to try and refocus people on what actually happened".

"Nobody could ever say that the way we put this show together was focused towards, in broad terms, entertainment. It's there to inform but what drama does is it informs with emotion, with the ability to take you to places that any documentary can't and invest in that story."

If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk by calling 116 123, or by visiting the charity's website. You can also find help and support at Mind.

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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