LIVE UPDATES: Dale Cregan murder trial day 21… as it happens

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

Welcome to day 21 of the Dale Cregan murder trial from Preston Crown Court. MM will be posting live updates throughout the day.

NOTE: This story is being live edited and is being constantly updated. Hit refresh to display live updates.


16:00pm Judge Holroyde has sent home the jury for the day, with the rest of the afternoon dedicated to discussion of timetabling and legal matters. The trial will resume at 11am tomorrow.  

15:42pm Ali’s phone was then located in the Droylsden area between 6:06pm and 6:22pm, before again moving from Manchester to Bradford between 6:28pm and 7:44pm. The phone attributed to Ali was then tracked moving from Bradford to Oldham between 7:52pm and 8:35pm.  Nicholas Clarke QC, prosecuting, has no further questions, and Dixon’s defence, Tim Roberts QC, begins his cross-examination.

15:40pm Cell site analysis shows that the phone attributed to Ali was found returned in Oldham, around his home address between 3.41pm and 5.32pm.

15:39pm  Dixon’s phone, Mr Greener confirms, moved from the Failsworth area through to Stalybridge and his own address.

15:38pm The jury are back later than planned, due to unexpected legal discussion, but we are back underway with Mr Greener still being examined by lead prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC.

15:13pm The jury has been sent for a 15minute break.

15:08pm Mr Greener is now talking through the movements of the phone attributed to Dixon after he returned from London, on August 9.

15:03pm The movements of phones attributed to Cregan, Ward and Wilkinson on the early evening of August 9 are now also being scrutinised.

14:55pm  Khan’s phone was later plotted travelling from Bradford to Leeds, between 7:44pm and 8:25pm.

14:50pm On the same morning, Khan’s phone was tracked communicating with Ali’s, with Khan ending one phone call in the same area as Ali.

14:48pm Cell site analysis shows Ali’s attributed phone being plotted travelling to Bradford. It communicates with the phone attributed to Raj Khan, who Ali had spoken to on the previous day.

14:42pm Prosecutors claim the accused waited on Lord Lane to be taken to West Yorkshire, with Ali being alleged to have taken Cregan, Ward and Wilkinson to Bradford.

14:41pm Cregan’s phone was found used around the Lord Lane area, Failsworth, shortly after Mr Short’s killing and the attack on Ms Hark’s Luke Road address. Prosecutors claim the killers waited on Lord Lane to be taken to West Yorkshire, with Ali accused of taking the Cregan, Ward and Wilkinson to Bradford.

14:33pm Prosecutors claim it was Cregan’s initial plan to kill Mr Short at the cemetery, where he visited his son’s grave three times a day. His son, Mark, was killed last May.

14:32pm One of two phones attributed to Cregan was found outside Droylsden Cemetery shortly before Mr Short’s murder, with a second phone later found in the area of his house on Folkestone Road East in Clayton.

14:23pm Mr Greener is now describing phone movements on the morning of Mr Short’s murder.

14:21pm  At 11:17pm, a call was made to a friend of Wilkinson from the phone attributed to Ward, but Wilkinson accepts it was he who was using it. The phone was used between 2:29am and 3:16am on August 10, and then not used until 6:24am, which prosecution claims is evidence of an overnight stay at the Falconwood Way address.

14:14pm A phone attributed to Cregan was also found moving towards Audenshaw at the same time, before two phones – allegedly Cregan’s and Wilkinson’s – headed north. Ward’s phone was later found in Beswick.

14:13pm Cell site analysis shows the phones attributed to Ward and Wilkinson moved away from the Longsight area at around 7:47pm, towards Audenshaw. 

14:09pm Jurors are continuing to hear evidence from cell site expert Darren Greener, who is being examined by lead prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC.

14:08pm The jury has returned from lunch, and proceedings are back underway.

13:05pm The judge has sent the jury for lunch. Trial resumes at 14:05, with Mr Greener due to continue his evidence.

13:00pm Prosecutors allege Ward and Wilkinson were at this pub together, and analysis shows the phones were again used in this area several times at around 7:45pm.

12:59pm Phones attributed to the two co-defendants, analysis shows, were used in the Falconwood Way area of Manchester between 7:22pm and 7:32pm, before moving together towards the Kingsway pub, Levenshulme.

12:55pm Cell site analysis is consistent with the prosecution’s allegations that Ward and Wilkinson were together on the evening of August 9, the court hears.

12:50pm Mr Greener is continuing to present a series of maps showing the movements of phones attributed to co-defendants on August 9. These are checked as consistent with CCTV images which have allegedly captured the movements of co-defendants.

12:34pm The witness is presenting the movements of the telephone attributed to Dixon on 9 August, which seemingly shows the defendant taking a train journey from London to Manchester, arriving at some time just before 4pm. The telephone then moved on to the Newton Heath area.

12:30pm Mr Greener, who has previously given evidence at this trial, created 79 maps tracking the locations of various phones on August 9 and August 10.

12:29pm Cell site expert Darren Greener is the next witness, taking questions from Mr Clarke.

12:26pm Mr Holland has concluded his cross-examination, and lead prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC has no further questions. Ms Robinson leaves the witness stand.

12:23pm Ali’s alleged mobile telephone did not contact Ward or co-defendant Anthony Wilkinson on the day of Mr Short’s murder, according to records, with only one call returned to Cregan at 10:50am, the court are told.

12:13pm The jury is back in place and proceedings have resumed, with Mr Holland continuing to question Elaine Robinson.

11:55am The jury has been sent for a 15 minute break, with Mr Holland to resume questioning upon return.

11:48am It is being reinforced that the phone attributed to Cregan attempted but failed to connect to that of Ali multiple times immediately after the attempted murder of Hark, as Ali was on the telephone.

11:41am Defence are focusing questioning on the call history of Ali around the date of Mr Short’s murder.

11:29am Mr Holland, representing Mohammed Ali, is now cross-examining. Ali is charged with assisting an offender.

11:16am Mr Roberts has ended his examination, after asserting his case that Dixon’s alleged ‘murder telephone’ lay unattended on August 9. Mr Reece, representing co-defendant Jermaine Ward, is now questioning the witness.

11:16am Mr Roberts has ended his examination, after asserting his case that Mr Dixon’s alleged ‘murder telephone’ lay unattended on August 9. Mr Reece, representing co-defendant Jermaine Ward, is now questioning the witness.

11:09am Call data shows Dixon and Cregan did not interact by mobile telephone on August 9, but spoke for a total of 12 minutes, 11 seconds on August 10, spread over four calls. The longest of these calls was at 7:30am, and lasted 9 minutes, 21 seconds.

11:06am Prosecutors allege Dixon and Cregan possessed dedicated ‘murder telephones’, for communication between the two leading up to Mr Short’s killing.

11:00am Questioning so far has focused upon the location, possession and call histories of several telephones on August 9; telephones attributed to Dixon and co-defendant Dale Cregan.

10:35am Dixon is one of four men charged with the August 10 murder of David Short, the attempted murder of Sharon Hark, and a single charge of causing an explosion.

10:34am Mr Roberts QC, representing Francis Dixon, is questioning today’s first witness, a cell site analysis expert.

10:33am Good morning from Preston Crown Court. The defendants, barristers, judge and jury are all in place, and court one is back in session.



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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