Dale Cre­gan changes plea mid-trial – but de­nies two other mur­ders

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JON LIVESEY


THE 29-YEAR-OLD man ac­cused of mur­der­ing two un­armed fe­male po­lice of­fi­cers in a gun and grenade at­tack ad­mit­ted killing them.

Orig­i­nally, Dale Cre­gan had de­nied killing PCs Fiona Bone, 32, and Ni­cola Hughes, 23, in Mot­tram, Gtr Manch­ester, last Septem­ber.

But in a shock­ing and dra­matic twist at his trial yes­ter­day Cre­gan changed his plea and ad­mit­ted mur­der­ing the pair.

He de­nies the mur­ders of fa­ther and son David and Mark Short.

Ear­lier in the trial, which be­gan at Pre­ston Crown Court last week, the jury heard how Cre­gan lured PCs Bone and Hughes to a house by say­ing a bur­glary had taken place.

The court heard he rang 999 and told po­lice, ‘I’ll be wait­ing’ dur­ing the bo­gus call.

When the two fe­male of­fi­cers ar­rived at the scene, Cre­gan fired his Glock pis­tol 32 times, be­fore leav­ing his ‘call­ing card’ in the form of a mil­i­tary grenade, which he threw as his vic­tims lay on the ground, the court heard.

Last week, Ni­cholas Clarke QC, pros­e­cut­ing, de­scribed how PC Bone was shot up to 24 times as she tried to draw her Taser in her de­fence.

And PC Hughes was shot, first in the back as she tried to run away and then in the head three times as she lay mo­tion­less on the floor.

The jury was also told that Cre­gan, who was ‘calm and ca­sual’, dressed in new clothes and with a fresh hair­cut, later handed him­self in at Hyde po­lice sta­tion, say­ing, ‘I’m wanted by the po­lice and I’ve just done two cop­pers’.

Both of­fi­cers’ fam­i­lies sobbed in court last week as their chil­dren’s fi­nal mo­ments were de­scribed.

How­ever, nei­ther fam­ily was in court to hear Cre­gan plead guilty to the two mur­ders af­ter his lawyer Simon Csoka asked for the charges in­volv­ing the of­fi­cers to be read again.

Once he’d en­tered the pleas, Judge Mr Jus­tice Hol­royde asked the jury fore­man to record guilty ver­dicts on the in­dict­ments re­lat­ing to the mur­der of the of­fi­cers.

At the time of the of­fi­cers’ mur­ders, Cre­gan was wanted by po­lice in con­nec­tion with the mur­ders of David and Mark Short.

He is al­leged to have killed Mark in the Cot­ton Tree Pub in Droylsden, Gtr Manch­ester, on May 25 and David on Au­gust 10, at his home in Clay­ton, Gtr Manch­ester.

Yes­ter­day, the court was told Cre­gan had been re­cruited by his friend Leon Atkin­son to kill the fa­ther and son.

It is al­leged that Atkin­son’s mum Theresa Atkin­son – who the court heard was ‘blad­dered’ made a pass at David Short, 46, at the Cot­ton Tree Pub in Droylsden and that he turned her down, spark­ing a row.


The row wors­ened when Ray­mond Short, an­other mem­ber of the Short fam­ily, phys­i­cally as­saulted Mrs Atkin­son, the jury was told.

Mr Young, who told the hear­ing he was sit­ting on a stool with his back to her when she hit him on the head with a bot­tle, con­tin­ued: “I stood up, turned around and took the bot­tle off her. She grabbed an­other one, that clipped my nose.

“She grabbed an­other one off the ta­ble, I took it off her, gave her a back­hand and pushed her to­wards the door.

“She was go­ing mad, bal­lis­tic, point­ing at me, ‘You wait here, you are dead’ say­ing to Dave, ‘I would get off from here’ run­ning around with her phone, lu­natic.”

Fol­low­ing the row, Leon Atkin­son is said to have got in touch with Mr Young, who de­clined his of­fer to meet and sort out the is­sue.

David and Mark Short were killed within weeks of the ar­gu­ment, with the lat­ter’s girl­friend Michelle Kelly telling the court a bala­clava-clad gun­man had stormed in and shot her son Mark, 23, be­fore his dad David died in a gun and grenade at­tack.

Cre­gan is ac­cused of car­ry­ing out both at­tacks and there are also nine co-ac­cused, whose charges in­clude mur­der and at­tempted mur­der of the fa­ther and son.

The trial con­tin­ues.

AC­CUSED: Cre­gan ( and ( PCs Ni­cola Hughes and Fiona


IN COURT: An artist’s im­pres­sion of Cre­gan ( and ( vic­tims David and Mark Short

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