Raoul Moat, the gunman who declared war on Northumbria Police last week, before blasting his brains all over the Rothbury countryside on Saturday, has been the subject of much contemplative discussion over the weekend, and, as well as having his murderous actions analysed by many in the media, a 'softer side' has emerged amongst the general public, and here Moat is fondly remembered by some of his closest friends and associates.
Moat's long-time acquaintance, Lynn Tunn, told me:
"Did you see the pictures of him in the papers as a child? He wasn't born as he became, despite what some churches would have us believe. I have no idea of the real circumstances that led him to become what he became and I do not dispute what he did.
"However, this individual in the last few days became a danger to the public at large and this was due to what upset and angered him about what he saw as inaccuracies and untruths in the media coverage of his life. You can't protest that he was 100% responsible for that."
Another associate, who wished to remain nameless, said:
"It IS sad that as he stood there and pulled the trigger it was because he saw no hope, no redemption. Hope that as the little boy in the pictures in the papers he most surely had - something that we all can identify with because at that age we too were not the, angry, cynical, realistic, funny, helpless, frustrated, hopeless, optimistic, pessimistic."
Wise words, indeed, but you have to remember, he shot that innocent copper IN THE FACE!
Things were no different in the world of satire, populated by those who believe themselves to be writers, but who just don't care about the pain and suffering they are causing around the globe with their insensitive rantings on subjects as diverse as Raoul Moat's last moments and Miley Cyrus's private parts.
One satirist, Lynton, clearly moved by the whole series of events, posed the difficult question:
"What would you have done if you had seen the comments reportedly made by his mother who said he would have been better off dead? Just the person whose love should be unconditional whether she condones what he did or not she brough him into the world, she had a lifetime responsibility to him. The only hand outstretched before him was one that he didn't trust, that of the Police, who he saw as those who had not allowed him to go straight but instead had hounded him.
He went on:
"So last night he pulled the trigger. His mind was clouded. Clouded by fear, disappointment and disillusion of all those childhood hopes. Clouded by betrayal and the effects of the drugs he had used to pump up his body to an extent that he was able to obtain at least some self-confidence and respect in a world that otherwise couldn't give a damn since there was no love left in it for Raoul Moat; not even the love of a mother for her son.
Now he was really getting going:
"Whatever Raoul Moat did and became we all bear part of the responsibility because the World becomes what we together make it. His life was certainly worth a lot more than he saw it to be and much more than the few hundred reads we might have got from the articles we wrote about him.
Ernest Scrote, 44, who lived near Moat, said:
"Fondly? Does that mean I hated him?"
One satirist, however, had a word of caution for his fellow writers. Moys Kenwood told anyone who would listen:
"Anyone is fair game: Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, their vaginas, Susan Boyle, Robert Pattinson, whoever the fuck that dude is, Jedward, Justin Bieber, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, the Beckhams - David and Victoria - Fabulous Capello, Anna Chapman and even the Man with the World's Longest Penis and the Woman with the World's Most Open Vagina, but we have to remember that these are all people, that they all have mothers, and that they were all babies once. That's it really. Just be careful out there."