Dale Cregan trial: Jury to consider verdicts on cop killer’s remaining charges and nine co-accused

By Glen Keogh

The jury in the trial of Dale Cregan is expected to retire to consider its verdicts.

Cop killer Cregan has already admitted to murdering four people in Greater Manchester, as well as admitting the attempted murder of three others.

He remains on trial for the attempted murder of Sharon Hark.

Cregan, 29, admits causing an explosion with a grenade at her house in Droylsden, but says he did not intend to murder her.

In the second week of his trial in February, Cregan changed his pleas to guilty to killing policewomen Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32.

Last month, when the closing statements were being read by the prosecution, Cregan also admitted killing father and son David and Mark Short.

David Short, 46, was murdered at his home in Clayton, Greater Manchester, in a gun and grenade attack.

Mark Short, 23, was gunned down in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, last May, where Cregan also attempted to murder the three other men.

PCs Bone and Hughes were murdered when Cregan lured them to a house in Hattersley with reports of a ‘burglary’.

When they arrived he opened fire, shooting 32 times before leaving his ‘calling card’ – a military grenade – as they lay on the floor.  

Nine other men are on trial at Preston Crown Court and face allegations concerning the deaths of either David or Mark Short.

Cregan chose not to give evidence in the witness box and has offered no explanation for the grenade assault in Luke Road, Droylsden, which led to his remaining attempted murder charge.

The Cotton Tree pub shooting is said to have been masterminded by Leon Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne, to settle a long-standing feud between the Atkinsons and the Shorts.

He is said to have recruited Cregan, who in turn is believed to have recruited Luke Livesey, 28, from Hattersley, Damian Gorman, 38, from Glossop, Ryan Hadfield, 29, from Droylsden, and Matthew James, 33, from Clayton, for the task.

They all deny the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murders of John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.

Anthony Wilkinson, 34, from Beswick, pleaded guilty during the trial to murdering David Short.

He denies one count of the attempted murder of Mrs Hark in Droylsden on the same day and causing an explosion with a hand-grenade.

Francis Dixon, 38, from Stalybridge, and Jermaine Ward, 24, deny the above charges relating to David Short and Sharon Hark.

Mohammed Ali, 32, from Chadderton, denies assisting an offender.

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