These were the three thoughts that went through my mind when I read the following in a news report about Raoul Moat’s funeral in today’s Metro newspaper:
One stranger was Theresa Bystram, 45, who travelled 480km (300 miles) from Weybridge, Surrey, on an overnight coach with three of her teenage sons to be at the crematorium.
She said: ‘I absolutely loved him. I just think he is a hero and I wanted to pay my respects.
‘He kept them coppers on the run all that time. Fair enough people died but they must have deserved it.’
One of the people Moat shot was Policeman David Rathband. He was sitting in his car when Moat shot him in the face at point blank range. This wasn’t self-defence. This wasn’t even a fight. There wasn’t any dispute. This was a just a totally random, cowardly, vicious attack.
Rathband survived, but is now blinded for life.
And what about the man who was killed, Chris Brown, who Moat first shot in the legs and then executed with shots to the back and the head? His only crime appears to have been that he got into a relationship with a woman who’d previously dated a psycho. (I once did that. Don’t figure it would have justified him killing me.)
I have no problem with people expressing some degree of sympathy for Moat. He was clearly in need of psychiatric treatment, and in a more just society he might now be alive, and his victims unhurt.
But to go beyond sympathy into suggesting that his victims deserved their fate? Now that’s just sick.
I don’t know who Theresa Bystram is, but having presumably been born with at least some sort of brain she ought to perhaps start using it. And yes, I probably am being very unsympathetic to a woman who’s most likely not all there, but I think I’m still giving her more sympathy than she’s showed to Moat’s victims.