PRISON officers were warned of gun maniac Raaoul Moat’s murderous intentions on the day he was released, an inquest into the death of his victim has heard.
Chris Brown, 29, was gunned down in cold blood after starting a relationship with Moat’s ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, two days after the spurned lover was released from jail in July 2010.
Ms Stobbart was also badly injured by shotgun pellets, but survived.
Moat went on the run, and the next night shot and blinded Pc David Rathband, who was unarmed and sitting in his marked police car.
The inquest at Newcastle Crown Court heard evidence from a witness who was a prisoner with Moat in HMP Durham.
The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons and was referred to as N1, said after Moat had been released that he told a prison officer he would end up killing someone.
“It was sort of an off-the-cuff comment, but I believe I said ‘He’s a lunatic and will end up killing someone’,” he said.
He also told the court that Moat was unbalanced and would get angry when talking about Ms Stobbart and the police.
“He indicated that he was going to take some sort of revenge against her and her partner,” he said.
The court heard Moat had made it clear that he would never return to prison whatever happened and that he had also boasted about having access to a shotgun and explosives.
At the start of proceedings a statement was read out by Mr Brown’s mother, Sally, which said that, since his death, it had been hell for the family.
“His friends said he was like Marmite - either you loved him or you hated him,” she said.
“But if you loved him you had a friend for life. He was very loyal, happy-go-lucky and never sat still.
“As soon as he tried karate he said he loved it and was good at it. He enjoyed teaching it and especially teaching children.”
She said in the days leading up to his death he had been in good spirits and they had spoken regularly on the phone.
“It has been horrendous for the whole family, I cannot think of anything worse than burying your own child,” she said.
“I can only think of one word to describe it - hell.”
The court was told that Moat had indicated he intended to commit “suicide by cop”, which meant he would put himself in a position where he was shot by the police.
Evidence was also given that in prison he had described very precisely the outside of Ms Stobbart’s house and said a large green verge would make spying on her difficult.
Witness N1 said Moat had told him that he would “shoot to kill” five people, who were Ms Stobbart, her mother, her new partner, a psychiatrist and a social worker.
The hearing follows the Crown Court trial of two of Moat’s accomplices and an inquest into how Moat shot himself during a stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission and an internal prison inquiry have looked at details of Moat’s release from Durham Prison.
At a pre-inquest hearing, Coroner Terence Carney said those hearings had not allowed relatives of Mr Brown, who was from Slough, Berkshire, to ask questions.
An inquest for Mr Rathband, who was found hanged at his home last year, will be heard next month.