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Armed police on city streets

Police arrive at Preston Crown Court ahead of  Dale Cregan

Police arrive at Preston Crown Court ahead of Dale Cregan

Armed officers surrounded Preston’s court buildings as Dale Cregan - the man accused of murdering Preston educated PC Fiona Bone and her colleague PC Nicola Hughes - sat in the dock at the city’s Crown Court.

Scores of police officers, many with guns, swamped the building in Ringway as security was stepped up in the surrounding area.

A helicopter circled overhead as Cregan and his co-defendants, variously charged with offences of murder, attempted murder, firearms offences and assisting an offender, were escorted to the court in high security vans..

Many officers on the ground had dogs and rmed police stood guard from the tops of nearby buildings.

PC Fiona Bone, 32, who studied at UCLan, and her colleague PC Nicola Hughes, 23, were killed in an incident in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on September 18 last year.

Cregan is charged with the murders of the two officers and the murders of Mark and David Short in Greater Manchester in the months before officers died. He is also charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion.

Sitting in the dock alongside Cregan are Leon Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Luke Livesey, 27, from Hattersley, Damian Gorman, 37, from Glossop, Ryan Hadfield, 28, from Droylsden and Matthew James, 33, from Clayton, are all accused of the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murder of three others in the pub at the time; John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.

Accused of the murder of David Short is Cregan, Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, Anthony Wilkinson, 38, from Manchester and Jermaine Ward, 24. All four are also jointly accused of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark on the same day and a single charge of causing an explosion.

Wilkinson is additionally charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Mohammed Ali, 23, from Chadderton, Greater Manchester is accused of assisting an offender. Cregan alone is charged with the murder of the two police officers.

All the charges span between May 25 and September 18, last year.

 
 
 

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