Martin McGartland was shot 6 times and almost killed in June 1999. Martin McGartland was shot by the IRA who were led to his 'safe house' by Northumbria Police after they took a flawed court case against him in 1997. During the court case Northumbria Police read out Martin's name and his full home address in open court. Those detailed were reported in the media. Martin McGartland says; Sue Sim, Northumbria Police are covering Up IRA involvement in my attempted murder. They also continue to cover-up the entire shooting case. Sue Sim has been and continues to be directly involved in that cover-up."
SO Raoul Moat is dead, and while I'm sure the people of Rothbury are mightily relieved it's Northumbria Police who should REALLY be grateful.
Because at least this way there won't be any more blood on their hands. No more innocent people dead, no more young mums clinging to life in hospital, no more cops with their faces shot off.
But the biggest embarrassment is surely the fact that Moat outfoxed and outran a major police force for more than a week. And despite their best efforts it was HIM who finally decided how and when he was going to die.
Northumbria Police - and I'm talking about the head honchos here, not the poor beggars on the ground taking orders from incompetents - have acted like a bunch of Keystone Cops in the hunt for Moat, proving without doubt that when the big stuff happens - they just can't hack it.
So bad were they, so embarrassing, that officers from 15 other forces, crack Scotland Yard marksmen, Army survival experts and an RAF Tornado jet were all drafted in to help. I mean how many people does it take to catch a lone gunman?
And when this is over, the people of Northumbria have every right to ask what the hell their taxes are being spent on when a police force with every resource at its disposal is incapable of catching one deranged nutter. A force whose inability to act quickly or effectively actually PUT people in danger rather than protected them from it.
As for Sue Sim, who started the week as Acting Chief Constable and ended it re-branded as Temporary Chief Constable, she needs to get back where she belongs - counting paperclips and banging up drunks in Newcastle on Saturday nights. Because while I'm sure she's a nice woman (apart from the unfortunate resemblance to Maggie Thatcher) she's shown that when it comes to leading a police force, doing what she's been trained to do - she's as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.
Moat made abject fools of the police trying to catch him. In the seven days he was on the run he TWICE popped into a mate's house in Newcastle. You'd have thought that after the first time an officer might have been posted outside the door in case he came back. But no. And of course he DID come back two days later. Another missed opportunity. Just one of many.
On Thursday locals saw Moat, large as life, strolling down Rothbury High Street. Was he agitated? Did he look like a man who felt the net was closing in? Nope.
So unconcerned was he that he broke into one family's home while they were out, had a kip, helped himself to food from the fridge then walked to some local allotments where he picked himself some nice ripe tomatoes. And exactly where were Northumbria Police? Well, they were telling everyone Moat wasn't in the town at all - but out on the Moors.
Rothbury's tiny, for God's sake. Was it really beyond the wit of an entire force, with massive back-up, to smoke out a lone man with zero resources who'd been sighted half a dozen times in one day? And of course all of this could have been avoided - if Northumbria Police had acted on information from Durham jail that Moat intended to "seriously hurt" ex- girlfriend Samantha Stobbart on his release.
So, why wasn't she taken from her home and protected? Why wasn't her now dead boyfriend protected? What in God's name had to happen before the chiefs at Northumbria got off their backsides and took this thug who's got form for violence, seriously? We're always hearing that good policing is about prevention. So why the hell didn't they take steps to prevent the carnage that followed?
Raoul Moat's legacy won't just be that he was a killer. It will be that he exposed and made monkeys out of an entire police force in a way that no investigation, no official report, ever could.