THE mother of murder victim Christopher Brown fled court in tears yesterday as killer Raoul Moat’s ex-girlfriend described the moments he was gunned down.
Samantha Stobbart said her new boyfriend Mr Brown knew he may become involved in a fight with Moat if they ever met, but refused to hide away as he had “done nothing wrong”.
The 24-year-old sobbed as she told an inquest into the 29-year-old’s death she believed Mr Brown deliberately stepped between her and Moat when he was shot.
Miss Stobbart said she and Mr Brown were leaving a neighbour’s house in Birtley, Gateshead, together when they were confronted by Moat on July 2 last year.
She said: “He was just there. He shot Chris. It was so quick, he was just there all of a sudden.”
Coroner Terence Carney asked Miss Stobbart if she believed Mr Brown deliberately stepped in between her and Moat and she replied, through tears: “Yes.”
Mr Carney asked Miss Stobbart if she believed Mr Brown knew he was there and she said: “Yes, because I shouted there’s Raoul, as soon as I saw him jump up.”
Miss Stobbart added: “He (Mr Brown) staggered out to the field. I was shouting. I went back in the garden. That was when the second shot went off.”
She said she went back into the neighbour’s house and looked out of the window.
She said: “I remember standing at the window, just looking at Chris on his knees. I didn’t see Raoul, I didn’t see him then. Then he shot me.”
Mr Brown’s mother, Sally Brown, left the room at Newcastle Crown Court in tears as her son’s final moments were described to the coroner.
Miss Stobbart said she is still unable to use her arm properly more than three years after it was badly injured in the shooting.
She said surgery on damaged internal organs was successful.
Miss Stobbart said she had tried to prevent the violence earlier in the night.
She said she tried to persuade Mr Brown to spend the night at his own home in Gateshead, instead of travelling to Birtley with her.
Miss Stobbart said she thought this would have prevented trouble, as Moat did not know where Mr Brown lived.
The inquest heard Miss Stobbart and Mr Brown had been drinking together at a bar in Gateshead when Moat kept ringing her in a rage.
She said she tried to persuade Mr Brown to spend the night at his own flat to prevent the two coming face to face if Moat turned up at her home.
She said: “I didn’t want anything to happen to him.”
Miss Stobbart said Mr Brown had refused to “hide” from Moat.
Miss Stobbart agreed she was “petrified” when Moat was released from the prison sentence he had been serving, but did not inform the police of her fears.
She said: “I would have rang the police if I knew he was going to come and kick off the way he did.”
n The inquest continues.