Survival expert Ray Mears who helped track Raoul Moat says he knew gunman could be watching him with a shotgun
| Last updated
Survival expert Ray Mears has revealed how he helped police catch Raoul Moat.
ITV's new three-part series, The Hunt for Raoul Moat, has reminded us all of the horrific events which took place in 2010.
The drama documents the story of a man who went on the run, after shooting three people in 24 hours.
After being released from Durham Prison in July 2010, Moat paid a visit to ex-partner Samantha Stobbart, where he killed her new boyfriend, Christopher Brown, and then opened fire at Samantha herself.
Samantha survived the attack.
Moat also shot and blinded PC David Rathband, before eventually shooting himself, after a tense stand-off with Northumbria Police.
Rathband, who was blinded in the incident, later died by suicide.
"A new ITV drama about the real-life manhunt has brought back memories of an unforgettable experience in my life," Mears told The Telegraph.
"The two officers accompanying me to Rothbury knew PC Rathband who Moat had shot. They were devastated, and angry he hadn’t yet been detained.
"I knew that at any given moment he could be watching us with a shotgun, but I don’t remember feeling frightened. My main concern was messing up. I didn’t want to let everyone else down."
Mears - who was used to finding animals, not humans - was asked by police to come down and help them find ex-bouncer who was hiding in the woods.
"Nearly every firearms team in the country was there. SWAT teams, body armour, sub machine guns; flashing lights everywhere," he explained.
"Journalists were clamouring to get in, they were out of control.
"The 24-hour rolling press coverage was a disaster. It was quite possible a journalist could have been killed."
The survival expert convinced police to close down the area, which was open to the public and could put them danger.
"I was dressed in uniform so the press didn’t recognise me, with body armour, ballistics glasses and a police cap. I’d identified a central path running through the woods and guessed that if Moat was on the move at night, without a torch he’d have to use the path as his marker. We began there," he said.
"I later learnt they had intelligence that Moat had told a friend if he ever got himself into difficulty, there was a boathouse with a solid roof where he could hide. The RAF sent a tornado over with a special raptor pod which does thermal imaging. The SWAT team checked the building – empty. I followed and found fresh footprints inside. He’d jumped from a raised platform, possibly not that long before.
"We were called back to the station. I was disappointed; a good tracker wants to finish the trail. I briefed someone on what we’d found and while that was happening he was bumped from the woods. He emerged just a stone’s throw from the boathouse. I woke the next morning to find he’d taken his life."