The two British police officers who fired at Raoul Moat with stun guns were using weapons that they had received little or no training for and which had not been approved by the Home Office.

The inquest into the death of Moat heard yesterday how he had been fired at by two firearms officers using XRep Tasers - shotgun-style weapons which can reach further and are more powerful than the standard hand-held Tasers carried by most police.

The weapons, which are currently being tested by the Home Office, were ordered by Northumbria Police only last week - purely for use in the search for Moat - and arrived just days before being fired at the fugitive.

The inquest gave the preliminary cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head and said it was not clear whether the Tasers were fired before or after Moat turned his gun on himself.

Steve Reynolds, senior investigator at the Independent Police Complaints Commission, told the hearing in Newcastle upon Tyne that the officers, from West Yorkshire police, discharged their Tasers in an apparent attempt to prevent Moat, 37, from killing himself.