As snipers focused their sights on Raoul Moat, Paul Gascoigne made a bizarre appearance, turning up with beer and chicken as he begged officers to allow him to help the killer.
But the unpredictable turn of events in one of Britain’s biggest ever manhunts has been omitted from an upcoming ITV drama over fears it would have ‘trivialised’ the story.
Matt Stokoe will play the notorious gunman who shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend Sam Stobbart, then 22, before fatally shooting her partner Chris Brown, 29, in July 2010, just 48 hours after he was released from prison.
He later shot and blinded PC David Rathband after creeping up on him while he was sat in his car at a roundabout. He took his own life 19 months later.
A seven-day manhunt ensued before Moat was cornered on a riverbank in Rothbury, Northumberland. He shot himself with a sawn off shotgun after a six-hour stand-off during which time Gascoigne tried to reach out to save him.
Raoul Moat (pictured) shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend Sam Stobbart, then 22, before fatally shooting her partner Chris Brown, 29, in July 2010
As snipers focused their sights on Raoul Moat, Paul Gascoigne (pictured) made a bizarre appearance, turning up with beer and chicken as he begged officers to allow him to help the killer
The former footballer, who had been taking cocaine at the time, brought Moat ‘a can of lager, some chicken, a mobile phone and something to keep him warm’ as well as a fishing rod and told local radio stations that he knew him.
But the bizarre incident is only referenced in The Hunt for Raoul Moat, with producers wanting to ‘correct’ the public perception of the story in a bid to honour Brown.
Executive producer Kevin Sampson said: ‘Everybody that I reached out to who was not intimately involved, the first thing they would say is ‘oh the one where Gaz turned up with a fishing rod’.
‘That absolutely undermines and trivialises the tragedy of what really happened and if there is one mission statement, it really is to challenge people to think again and revaluate the way they look back on these events…
‘[Brown’s family] were very, very supportive… Their stance was they’d like Chris to be honoured and remembered and they don’t want him to simply be ‘the guy that Raoul Moat shot’.’
Fellow executive producer Jake Lushington added: ‘It wasn’t the focus and it was unnecessarily blown up. So we’ve referred to it as a report… It had a huge impact in terms of the public perception of that story. We’re trying to correct that and show a different way of looking at the events.’
Matt Stokoe, who stars as Moat, said playing the killer became oppressive
Josef Davies and Sally Messham play two of Moat’s victims, Chris Brown and Samantha Stobbart
Stokoe, whose partner is Peaky Blinders actress Sophie Rundell, said he spent time in a ‘decompression chamber’ to escape Moat on wrapping up filming and claimed he felt oppressed by the killer’s Mohawk.
‘I was in quite a robust place when I went into it, but through osmosis there is kind of a sadness that creeps in…’ he said.
‘There is an accumulative pressure that builds up… I’ve never been one of those people who goes to a dark place… but by the end of the job I felt, as dramatic as it sounds, almost like my central nervous system didn’t really know the difference, like I’d been through some heavy, sad grief or loss.
Pictured: An aerial scene of the location of the stand-off between Raoul Moat and police in 2011
‘It took a few weeks to realise I was moping around almost and feeling sorry for myself despite having nothing to inform that… I had to spend some time almost in a decompression chamber taking myself out of that mind set.’
He said shaving off Moat’s Mohawk was ‘quite cleansing’, adding: ‘The infamous Mohawk, orange t-shirt look felt very oppressive by the end so it was nice to be able to literally shed all that when we wrapped.’
Stokoe, whose credits include Bodyguard and ITV drama Grace, said it was ‘very daunting’ taking on Moat as he had to ’emulate it convincingly without just doing an impression of what I thought he might be like’.
Moat’s family was notified about the three-part drama as a ‘duty of care’ to his children.
Last year Rathband’s brother Darren said he would not be watching. ‘We as a family do not need any other reminders of what happened in 2010,’ he told Chronicle Live. ‘David loss gives us a painful reminder every day. If it’s based on facts and not fiction, the story remains the same.’
Around 30,000 people joined the Facebook tribute group ‘RIP Raoul Moat You Legend!’ in the wake of Moat’s death before it was swiftly removed.
Multiple ‘Raoul Moat’ profiles featuring pictures of the killer still exist on Twitter.