From the name to the aftermath of the death of Raoul Moat, the story is stranger than fiction. The character called 'Stevie' in my novel 'Sandman' is a weird fellow, not quite right in the head, and he can be pretty scary, but fiction could not have created a more threatening and dysfunctional man than Moat. As for the aftermath, where Siobhan O'Dowd thought it was 'funny' that Moat had managed to evade capture from police for more than a week and established the internet shrine to him, and a trader on eBay is sick enough to cash-in and sell ‘Moaty’ T-shirts depicting his face, this really is stranger than any novelist would try to get away with in fiction as the aftermath of a murder and suicide. Why? It is too unbelievable. Yet that is life, stranger than fiction, and some people just are unbelievable. Imagine what such actions mean to relatives of those affected by Moat’s violence.
It is all too sad that, when a man knows he is going off the rails, nothing is done to help him due to a real ‘Catch-22’ situation. Moat must have indicated he thought he was going a bit crazy to many of his friends and colleagues, but they would have reckoned he could not be if he could be so rational about it: Catch -22 to a tee. Apparently he made appointments for psychological treatment but did not keep them. Crazy, or what? Yet no one took the necessary steps or realised just how much help he was crying out for. Perhaps that was the one extra step that should have been taken by those who just sat back when he did not keep any of those appointments.