Qhuram Awan was either an unwilling hostage or a willing accomplice during Raoul Moat's 2010 crime spree that left one dead and two seriously wounded. Speaking to Newcastle Crown Court, Awan recalls the event was "like a video game".
"It's all getting too much now. It's like a cross between GTA and Jason Bourne."
Those are words 23-year-old part-time mechanic Qhuram Awan jotted down during Raoul Moat's crime spree.
Raoul, a 27-year-old bodybuilder recently released from prison began his crime spree on July 3, 2010, by gunning down his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and her new lover Chris Brown. Brown was killed, while Stobbart spent weeks in the hospital recovering from critical wounds.
The next day Moat shot police officer David Rathband after calling police ahead of time to warn what he was going to do. Rathband, seemingly picked at random, was blinded for life after being shot in the head.
Police launched the largest manhunt in modern British history for Rathband, eventually tracking him down to Riverside, Rothbury, where he shoot himself. Moat was pronounced dead on July 10.
Qhuram Awan was one of two suspected accomplices that turned themselves in, signaling for a police helicopter on July 6 after separating from Moat. Along with Karl Ness, Awan told police he had been held against his will, his family threatened if he did not comply with Moat's instructions.
His notes continue. "I know it sounds horrible but it is a game about a man on a mission. You're going round shooting people and stealing cars."
He's a relatively young man, so likening the situation to a video game isn't beyond reason. It's just chilling to imagine being thrust into a real-life version of a game like Grand Theft Auto, especially if, as Awan argues, it was against his will.
Awan is currently being tried for conspiracy to murder, the attempted murder of Rathband, a firearms offence and the robbery of a Northumberland fish and chip shop.
Raoul Moat killing spree 'like a video game' court hears [The Independent]