By Fathers 4 Justice


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It ended as it started. In despair and bloodshed. An abandoned, troubled boy who became an angry tormented man, who lost everything. On that level, many of us can identify with his circumstances. I don’t understand the path he chose after he came out of jail though. One can only imagine that consumed by anger, vengeance and recrimination, he vented this through appalling acts of violence which ultimately destroyed him, and denied his children a father.

I am angry about they way this has been handled by the police. On Tuesday police refused our offer to help ‘identify’ with a father who had lost his kids (and life) and had no apparent father himself and a mother who said he’d be better off dead. If reports are right, Moat had plenty to be troubled about. We always say how it is better to build a strong child than repair a broken man. How relevant was that to Raoul Moat?

In these circumstances the only thing he had left to live for were his children who have now been denied a father. No matter how flawed, how awful some of his actions were, I believe in the power of redemption.

The police clearly don’t. They made no attempt to identify with him and in doing so, created a chain of events which ended in more violence and bloodshed. I don’t believe it had to end like this.

I have been a negotiator with several fathers in not entirely different circumstances. What helps bring people round is to explain why their children need them, that whilst we all have to be held to account for our actions, you can still turn your life around and your children need you more than anything on God’s earth.

Hunted, penned in, with an arsenal of weaponry aimed at him, they never gave him a way out. It needed friends, family, people who understood where he had been. We clearly don’t know all the circumstances but its been an appalling, shambolic set of proceedings with a tragic outcome. There might be some who attack this point of view, that I am defending a murderer, but I’d say this.

We are here to help the people like Raoul Moat, the people who are sick, who need help – not the healthy or the wealthy, because Raoul Moat was both the perpetrator and the victim. The truth is often inconvenient but our lack of compassion and humanity contributed to yet a further act of mindless violence which will scar the minds of his children long after the media have gone.

Until we as a society realise the consequences of stripping people of their lives and children, then we are doomed to repeat these tragedies for many years to come.

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