So Raoul Moat, former nightclub bouncer and mate of Paul Gascoigne, is dead.
Having terrorised the people of Rothbury, lead the police on a wild goose chase and even managed to get the RAF to bring in a specialised Tornado jet aircraft, he apparently shot himself in the head to evade prosecution.
Moat’s death brings to an end a week of worry for Northumberland and all but closes the case on his apparent shooting of former girlfriend, the murder of her boyfriend, and the serious wounding of a police officer.
But it also brings to an end a night of some of the worst television journalism I’ve ever seen which included, as police tried to negotiate a peaceful ending with the captured gunman, a Sky News journalist filling time by talking about the fact that Moat was also suspected of stealing a ripe tomato from a greenhouse.
Honestly, the news channels’ thirst for a story that wasn’t quite developing fast enough for them was beyond belief and rather than reporting the rest of the news and just returning to the Moat story as updates came in, they simply proceeded to provide us with some of the most tedious coverage ever that it actually made Big Brother look interesting.
Indeed, anchormen and women across the UK’s television screens were eager to stress that it was the Gunman Moat who was cornered, just in case we were concerned that there might have been another Raoul Moat in Rothbury who’d been hiding out in a drain for the past week.
Although the drama is now over and the people of Rothbury can finally go back to their daily lives after seven days of worry, the piece of journalism that will stick with me most from this story is in today’s Daily Telegraph, which reports:
Because, of course, England is such a war torn, violent society that we have to put up with such excitement on an almost weekly basis…