Thursday 27 July 2017

Strangers join family as 150 attend gunman Moat's funeral

The coffin of gunman Raoul Moat is carried into a crematorium in Newcastle. Photo: Reuters
The coffin of gunman Raoul Moat is carried into a crematorium in Newcastle. Photo: Reuters

Mark Hughes in Newcastle

MORE than 150 people attended the funeral of Raoul Moat yesterday, from members of the gunman's close family to complete strangers.

The mourners gathered outside the West Road Crematorium, less than a mile from Moat's former home in Newcastle, England.

'Behind Blues Eyes' by The Who was played as pall-bearers carried the coffin from the hearse.

Floral tributes included the word 'Dad' written in white carnations. One bouquet from Moat's brother had a card that read: "Raoul, this didn't have to end like this. Sleep tight bruv, Angus."

Another read: "You were always on my mind, you were always on my mind, love D."

Family members attended a 20-minute ceremony after which Moat was cremated -- a decision taken by the family who worried a grave would become a shrine for those who shared his hatred of the police.

Moat's former neighbour, Brian Johnson (27) said: "He was no hero. He was messed up. I came to pay my last respects. What he did was wrong, but he was still liked by a lot of people."

Many of the mourners admitted they had never met Moat. Theresa Bystram (45) travelled from Surrey on an overnight bus with three of her teenage sons.

Dressed in a Chelsea FC shirt, she admitted not knowing the former bouncer, but added: "I loved him. I just think he is a hero and I wanted to pay my respects. He kept them coppers on the run all that time. Fair enough people died, but they must have deserved it." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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