Opening of city trial hears details of gun and grenade attack
TWO women police officers were lured to their deaths by a man on the run from police, Preston Crown Court has heard.
Dale Cregan shot Preston-educated PC Fiona Bone and her colleague Nicola Hughes until he ran out of ammunition, before throwing a grenade towards his victims as he fled the scene, it is claimed,
The officers were unarmed when they responded to Cregan’s call of a spurious burglary in Abbey Gardens, Hattersley.
After making the call, Cregan lay in wait for the officers to arrive, armed with a Glock firearm with an extended magazine, which was fully loaded.
When the officers arrived, Cregan opened fire, shooting PC Bone, 32, a former UCLan student, and PC Hughes, 23, before launching the grenade, said Nicolas Clarke QC, prosecuting.
Cregan was wanted by police investigating the murders of father and son David and Mark Short and the attempted murder of Sharon Hark in Manchester.
Mark Short was shot in the Cotton Tree Pub in Droylsden on May 25 2012 and died in his father’s arms.
David Short was shot at his home in Luke Road, Droylsden and a grenade was thrown at him.
Mr Clarke QC told the members of the jury: “It is the first time in this country a military grenade has been deployed in this way.”
A grenade was also deployed in the attack at the home of Sharon Hark, the same day, before the killers fled in a hire vehicle.
A number of men were later arrested but Cregan remained at large until the attack on the officers on September 18.
Cregan, who appeared in the dock wearing a false left eye, is charged with the murders of the two officers and the murders of Mark and David Short in Greater Manchester.
He is also charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion.
He denies all the charges.
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.
All are accused of the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murder of three others people in the pub at the time; John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.
Cregan, Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, Anthony Wilkinson, 38, from Manchester and Jermaine Ward, 24, are accused of the murder of David Short.
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.