Police murder trial opens

Dale Cregan
Dale Cregan
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A Preston educated police officer and her colleague were ‘lured’ by Dale Cregan, a court has been told.

Dale Cregan shot the officers until he had run out of ammunition before throwing a grenade towards his victims as he fled the scene,

The officers were unarmed when they responded to Cregan’s call to a spurious burglary in Abbey Gardens, Hattersley.

After making the call, Dale 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.

Cregan was wanted by the police following the murders of father and son David and Mark Short and the attempted murder of Sharon Hark in Manchester, in the weeks leading up to the attack.

His picture had been widely circulated in the media and on posters. Mark Short was shot in the Cotton Tree Pub in Droylsden on May 25 2012 and died in his father’s arms.

His father David Short was shot at his home in Luke road, Droylsden and a grenade was thrown at him.

Outling the prosecution case Nicolas Clarke QC, prosecuting, 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.

All the men were later arrested except Cregan who remained at large until the attack on the officers in Abbey Gardens on September 18.

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.