One-eyed Dale Cregan put grenade in mouth of man he held ‘slave’ while on run from Manchester police, court hears

By Mancunian Matters staff

Dale Cregan put a grenade in a man’s mouth he held as a ‘slave’ for two weeks while on the run from Greater Manchester Police, a court heard today.

One-eyed Cregan, 29, was on the run after allegedly murdering Mark Short in a pub shooting and his father David in a gun and grenade attack when he took the man hostage.

Jermaine Ward described to the court how he and his family were allegedly held captives of Cregan and his co-defendant Anthony Wilkinson, 33.

The 24-year-old alleges that the defendants held him over a cooker and put a hot spoon on his back in an effort to silence him.

Cregan and Wilkinson ‘kept laughing’ when they saw reports of themselves on the news, Ward told the jury.

Ward claims he was kept in an apartment by the pair and they promised that if he tried to get away they would kill his brother – who was being treated at The Christie hospital.

Only 10 weeks after Mark Short, 23, was gunned down at The Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden on May 25, his father David, 46, was killed in a gun and grenade attack at his home.

It is alleged that Ward played an ‘integral’ role in the latter attack – he denies murder, one count of attempted murder and causing an explosion, though admits being the ‘driver’ under duress.

The jury were shown video footage of him being interviewed by police and read transcripts in which he described how he had agreed to drive a Vauxhall Combo van for Cregan and Wilkinson to David Short’s address.

Ward claimed he was left in the van with the engine running, before hearing two loud bangs and seeing Cregan coming back with blood on him.

Wilkinson and Cregan got back in the car, before the latter ‘rammed’ a gun to the side of Ward’s head and told him to ‘drive, drive now’.

Cregan, of no fixed address and Wilkinson, from Manchester, are two of four charged with Mr Short’s murder, the attempted murder of Sharon Hark and a single charge of causing an explosion.

Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, and Ward are also accused, with all four denying guilt.

Wilkinson is additionally charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, while Mohammed Ali, 32, from Chadderton, is accused of assisting an offender.


The trial

Dale Cregan, 29, of no fixed abode, is being tried on two counts of murder. One is of the murder of Mark Short, 23, at The Cotton Tree Pub on May 26 last year. The second is his father David Short, 46, at his Folkestone Road East home on August 10. 

He also faces four counts of attempted murder and causing an explosion by using a hand-grenade.

Leon Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Damian Gorman, 37, from Glossop,
Ryan Hadfield, 28, from Droylsden, Matthew James, 33, from Clayton, Luke Livesey, 27, from Hattersley,  are also charged with murdering Mark Short, and three counts of attempted murder of John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher, who were also in The Cotton Tree at the time. All deny the charges.

Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, Jermaine Ward, 24, and Anthony Wilkinson, 33, from Beswick, are also charged of murdering David Short. They are also charged with Cregan with one count of attempted murder of Sharon Hark in Droylsden later on the same day. All deny the charges

They are also accused of causing an explosion with a hand-grenade. All deny the charge. 

Mohammed Ali, 23, is charged with assisting an offender. He denies the charge. 

Cregan has already pleaded guilty to the murder of police officers PC Nicola Hughes, 23, from Saddleworth, and PC Fiona Bone, 32, from Sale, in Hattersley on September 18 last year.

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