‘The Hunt For Raoul Moat’ Recap & Ending, Explained: Did The Northumbria Police Catch Raoul Alive?

Just last week, there was an American documentary series on the manhunt for the bombers that were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. True stories such as this one give people some kind of reality check on how safe and lucky we really are. Watching such true stories being recreated for television series makes us think the truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that there is a lot that happens around us that we are unaware of. “The Hunt for Raoul Moat” is one such story. The story of the man who was responsible for one death and two severe injuries and who hurt all of them intending to kill them is all about how he managed to stay off the police radar. Will he manage to escape this time as well? Directed by Gareth Bryn, this episodic miniseries speaks a lot about the trauma of domestic violence.


Spoilers Ahead

Samantha’s Constant Worry

“The Hunt for Raoul Moat” begins with footage of men and women being interviewed at the funeral of Raoul Moat. People claim that he was a hero who did the right thing. At this point, it is not clear what Raoul did that made him the hero of the town, but people sent him away as a martyr.


“The Hunt for Raoul Moat” takes us to the mid-2010s, where Samantha Stobbart gets in touch with her neighbor Chris Brown, whom she finds interesting, and they strike up a conversation. Sam and Chris instantly connect, they become good friends, and soon start dating. Chris is a karate instructor who does not know much about Sam’s past. Sam has never been this happy in her life. Her mother and friends are more than happy to see her feeling safe and sound.

Samantha has a traumatic past which she reveals when she talks about how her ex-boyfriend is in jail for hitting one of his kids with Sam. Raoul worked as a bouncer at nightclubs, and he has been nothing but violent and abusive to Sam ever since they were together. Sam broke up with him multiple times, but he ended up apologizing and she went back to him. One day she called it quits, left him and took off with her kids. We are not sure when the domestic violence incident happened, but Sam made sure to keep herself and the kids away from him. Raoul keeps harassing her from the prison, and he asks every bouncer he knows in the city to follow and let him know what the woman is up to. Raoul comes across as a classic case of an abusive man who wants to control his woman and kids. Even with Sam letting him know several times that they are not together anymore and that Raoul has no rights over her or her kids, he makes sure to put the pressure back on her using his physical stature and threats. Even in prison, the man does not stop behaving violently toward Sam.


Sam eventually lets him know that she is seeing someone who is a karate instructor and a policeman. Hoping he would back away after  this revelation, but it had the opposite effect on him. Sam lets Chris know about Raoul and the danger he poses to their lives. Once Raoul is out of prison, the prison officer’s report states that the man is dangerous and there is a possibility that he would harm his ex-partner. He does as stated in the report. Raoul follows Sam and Chris, and Raoul ends up killing Chris and gravely injuring Sam. Sam and her family are in shock to see Raoul kill another man out of jealousy. The life that Sam wanted for herself and her kids is never going to happen, thanks to Raoul, who was too possessive and abusive for his own good and convinced himself he had the right to dictate Sam’s life. The man had a rage, but nobody believed that it would come to a point where he would kill another human being. Raoul is now on the run.

The Police Hunt

Once the police are on the case, they start researching the man because they have to know about Raoul Moat’s past and what other crimes he has committed. As their investigation goes on, Officers Nisha Roberts and Neil Adamson come across his disturbing history of being violent to Sam and her kids over the years. Sam’s mother and friends reveal that Raoul has always been a controlling, jealous maniac who got into a relationship with Sam when she was 16. There is a point where the police ask Sam and her family why she did not inform the police earlier of the domestic violence. Sam and her mother let the police know that the local police were never interested in reporting domestic matters, which shows how detached the police were from reality. They did not help a helpless woman. It should have been the police’s job to investigate the matter as soon as the complaint came in, but they did nothing, and now the man is at large.


Sam, in the hospital, gives her statement against Raoul and reveals that she’d lied about Chris being a policeman, which she thinks probably triggered him. Raoul checks in on his friend Rory Sutcliffe, who informs the police right away of his visit. Raoul sends out a threat to the Northumbria police, saying that he killed Chris because he was a policeman, and he believes the police have wronged him for years. That’s why he is on the hunt to kill police officers. The police begin the manhunt for this dangerous man, who would be willing to kill anyone to get his way. As the manhunt begins, the journalist Diane Barnwell receives a letter from Raoul, which carries his confession, and a warning that he might injure someone. Diane gives the letter to the police to investigate and make sure it can be used against Raoul once the case is built.

Raoul somehow has made up his mind that he is a victim of the society around him, chiefly the police, his wife, and his mother. He manages to mortally injure a police officer as his way of letting the police know that he is serious about his threat. They soon begin a wide manhunt to track this fugitive down, and hopefully, they will get him alive. The police catch up with Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, who initially claimed to be Raoul’s hostages, but the police investigation reveals that these two were his accomplices in the crimes he committed. The men are further interrogated to learn his location so that the police can get to Raoul and hopefully catch him alive. The police are desperate; it has been several days since the man has been on the run, and the police are finding it hard to get hold of him.

The police were also informed that the prison had issued a warning against Raoul for his report. The prison had an additional remark that claimed he could be potentially harmful to Sam. The police received this memo a bit too late, and they went ahead and revealed this truth to the police before the media leaked it and deemed them incompetent. The Northumbria police are trying their level best to come across as helpful by revealing this truth, but there is more to the work they need to do on themselves than letting their own force off the hook.

‘The Hunt For Raoul Moat’ Ending Explained: Did The Northumbria Police Catch Raoul Alive?

The Northumbria police are closing in on catching Raoul Moat, as they have now managed to arrest his accomplices, who provided him with weapons and information about Sam and her boyfriend. The police also requested that the media stand down for 24 hours because whatever they were writing about him was triggering him to commit more crimes. The media is unhappy, but they follow the police’s request because they are on the same side of the law this time. They all want Raoul to be arrested as quickly as possible. One of Raoul’s ex-girlfriends comes forward and lets the police know that she believes Raoul is hiding inside a forest dwelling where he has a small hut of his own. The police are sure this time they are closing in on catching the man, but Raoul escapes again. The police also have a hard time controlling the support Raoul is getting on social media pages, and everyone who was affected by this monstrous man is disgusted to see people pouring in to support this maniac who has done nothing right so far. The police also inform the public and the media that their man is probably hungry and on the prowl. They request that they not open the door without first checking their identity. The police are making sure there is no untoward incident once again involving Raoul. And to avoid any more crimes, the police are just issuing a statutory warning.


The man is finally seen walking towards a park with the gun he used to kill Chris Brown, and the entire police force lands up to see that it is Raoul, after all, sitting in the middle of the park in absolute solitude and having no worry about the police surrounding him. As the negotiator is called to get him to surrender, it takes an entire team of police and the negotiator to get him to understand that surrendering would be the right thing to do. The man does not budge for a second, and as the evening falls, Raoul points the gun at his temple and finally kills himself. Raoul probably knew there was no escape for him from here on, now that the police would eventually close in on him. His imprisonment was inevitable, and he would do anything but go to prison. He wanted to be around Sam and the kids, but with the police chasing him down, his only solution had been to kill himself so that the police would not have the satisfaction of catching him alive.

With Raoul dead, the case against Karl and Qhuram piles up for being his accomplices, and they are sentenced to prison for more than 20 years and 40 years, respectively. The victims and their families were not expecting this closure with Raoul dead. Since the accomplices were caught, they are happy to see justice being done to the innocent victims who fell because of a maniac. Journalist Diane is appalled to see the support that is gathering for Raoul. The people still believe he did the right thing by killing his “girl’s” boyfriend, and they were quick to shame Sam for cheating on Raoul Moat. The supporters are delusional and do not see the bigger picture here, which is that Raoul was a problematic, abusive man who should have gone to a psychiatrist to get himself treated. He did not intend to do that, and it led to him killing and maiming several people. Chris Brown’s family is concerned for his name’s sake and his memory. They believe people forgot he was a victim of Raoul, and everyone keeps remembering the culprit, which is unfair to Chris and Sam. The police are not happy to have let the victims down by letting Raoul slip away from them, but all they can do is live with the truth. “The Hunt for Raoul Moat” ends with the scene of Chris Brown’s mother and sister visiting his grave and praying for his soul year after year. That man did not deserve to die so young.


Final Thoughts

“The Hunt for Raoul Moat” is a deep dive into the issues of the police department, which never responds well to domestic abuse cases. Case in point: Raoul was only sent in for four months for harming his kid and emotionally abusing his girlfriend Sam for years. It holds a mirror up to how the police do not act quickly, as if they had, Raoul would have been in prison a long time ago. Writer Kevin Sampson and director Gareth Bryn bring out the actual ordeal that the town of Newcastle went through with this maniac on the run. It felt like the writers were trying to justify Raoul’s actions by talking about his mental health issues and bringing his brother to talk about their childhood. No amount of trauma justifies abusive behavior followed by killing people. People should pay for the crimes they commit. Justifying them would only lead to people of the same nature coming up and then getting away from it, just like Raoul did.

The writer manages to recreate the whole ordeal in the right fashion, which makes the whole story believable. As we say, truth is stranger than fiction, so it is hard to comprehend how the police never picked Raoul up before for constantly abusing his ex-girlfriend Sam. “The Hunt for Raoul Moat” is a must-watch because one must understand the layers and complexity of how sometimes our society and the police let us down.


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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