LIVE UPDATES: Dale Cregan murder trial day 35… as it happens

Updates from Chris Higgins

Welcome to day 35 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 constantly updated. Hit refresh to display live updates.

16:17pm Judge Holroyde says this as a good place to end the discussion for today, questioning will continue on Monday when court returns. The jury is sent home for the weekend.

16:16pm Hadfield denies going and looking through the windows of The Cotton Tree pub to see if Mark Short was there, and denies knowing what Mark Short looks like.

Hadfield tells the jury: “How would I be able to say? I never seen them before? How can I say they’re there when I don’t know what they look like? It’s stupid.”

15:55pm Hadfield says he had wanted to go to Droylsden when Cregan made the detour to pick up Damian Gorman from The New Inn.

15:48pm The court hears that Hadfield left The Organ pub in a taxi to Droylsden with Luke Livesey and Dale Cregan at 10pm on the night of Mark Short’s murder, before Cregan unexpectedly redirected the taxi to The New Inn at Hollingworth.

15:38pm Hadfield is talking the court through what happened on the day of May 25 from his point of view. He had been drinking since the early afternoon in preparation for flying out to Thailand.

15:20pm Hadfield tells the court that he was in Disneyland Paris for ‘three or four nights’ before returning to Manchester on May 24 – the day before the Cotton Tree pub shooting of Mark Short.

15:10pm Asked how his friendship was with Cregan, Hadfield said they would ‘go play gold, driving range, doing normal things that normal people do.

15:08pm Hadfield tells the court of his relationship with each of his co-defendants. Speaking of how he knows Cregan: “Just a normal friendship, just grew up together, socially go out drinking.”

15:02pm Mr Lambert begins the examination of his client, opening questioning with background. He describes how Ryan Hadfield, 28, of Ashton-Under-Lyne qualified as a plasterer under an apprenticeship scheme with Manchester City Council.

15:00pm With Mr Wigglesworth’s declaration that Gorman’s defense rests, Hadfield is called to the stand to begin his witness testimony.

14:27pm The jury are dismissed until 3pm – we shall return back then.

14:20pm Mr Clarke QC says to the witness: “You’ve been very keen to tell the court and the jury about the box of pills and the balaclava that you threw out because that’s in the script isn’t it?”

14:05pm Ms Clark tells the court she threw out clothing, boxes of prescription drugs and a balaclava. Mr Clarke, prosecuting, says “Yes, you specifically remember throwing out those boxes don’t you.”

14:04pm Prosecution returns to details of the items of clothing Ms Clark threw out when moving from their Moorfield Terrace address in 2012.

14:00pm The jury has rejoined the court and Ms Clark has returned to the stand. Prosecuting, Mr Clarke QC continues questioning Damien Gorman’s 22-year-old girlfriend.

13:00pm Court breaks for lunch and the judge sends the jury out until 2pm. We will pick it up from there.

12:59pm Prosecution QC: “I suggest that you have been giving evidence from a script, which you have learned.” Ms Clark: “How could I have time to do that when I have to look after my baby 24/7?”

12:56pm The jury hears that after Gorman had been released on bail, police came to see Ms Clark again but she refused to speak to them or provide information without a solicitor present, despite, as the prosecution QC puts it, “the police only wanting to ask questions for investigation or to help eliminate him as a suspect.”

12:52pm The court hears that Ms Clarke had been taken to Tameside Maternity Unit suffering from panic attacks and having difficulty breathing. The doctors at the hospital gave her the all clear a short time later.

12:49pm Ms Clarke tells the court how after Gorman had been arrested in June, while they were about to board a bus, she had been taken by the police to her aunt’s house.

Ms Clarke, who was heavily pregnant at the time, says after she had been taken to her aunt’s and questioned by police, who confiscated her mobile phone, she said she was suffering pains in her stomach.

12:42pm He then asks her if she remembers the time the police came to search their house for stolen property in relation to that arrest, Ms Clarke responds “No, I don’t remember which time we’re talking about.”

Prosecution asks Ms Clarke if she remembers “the day Mr Gorman didn’t come home, because he was arrested in a stolen motor vehicle”. She says “I don’t know, I can’t remember.” 

Mr Clarke QC asks the witness if she would like to look over to Damian to see what she should say. She declines.

12:27pm The jury has rejoined the court to find Ms Clarke waiting in the witness box, ready to resume her testimony which was interrupted earlier. 

11:53am Mr Haymer has been dismissed and the jury is let out for a short break, we shall return in half an hour with further updates.

11:39am Prosecution asks if Mr Haymer had used a phone to contact the police to report this, on a number ending 2301. Mr Haymer confirms that it is.

Mr Clarke suggests to Mr Haymer that this isn’t a phone that he ‘borrows’ now and then, but it was in fact his phone, which he used to contact Mr Gorman on regularly. Mr Haymer says “I might do, I might not do, I don’t know”.

Mr Clarke changes tack again, asking Mr Haymer whether he had a dispute over a sofa on Aug 20 2011. He confirms he did so but asks what relevance this has. Mr Clarke responds: “Usually I am the one asking questions.”

11:34am Mr Clarke QC changes tack and questions Mr Haymer about his dogs.
He owns two dogs, a ‘staff cross’ and an ‘American pitbull terrier’, which he has regained from the courts after they took it in to check it safe for ownership.

11:30am After detailing a series of phone interactions between “Gorman’s phone” and Ms Welsh’s, the prosecution puts it to Mr Haines that, in fact, it was him using the phone as, by his own admission, Gorman would have no business contacting Haymer’s girlfriend over 12 times in one day.

Mr Haymer responds that he had been using Gorman’s phone, ‘just borrowing it’ to call his girlfriend to ask her to join them at the pub.

11:24am Mr Haymer claims he has no idea why that would be the case.

11:21am Mr Clarke QC asks Mr Haymer why Gorman’s phone would be recorded making a phone call to Haymer’s girlfriend, Natalie Welsh’s phone on May 25, the night of the shooting of Mark Short at the Cotton Tree pub.

11:20am Mr Haymer claims that he has no contact with Damien Gorman other than ‘having a few drinks with him’ at The New Inn pub in Stalybridge.

11:15am After confirming his basic details, he is handed over to Mr Clarke, prosecution QC who inquires of Mr Haymer’s relationship with his girlfriend, Natalie Welsh.

11:05am The defence calls Andrew Haymer to the stand. Mr Haymer, who lived at Market St in 2011 and 2012, 50m or so from Moorfield Terrace, has confirmed to the court that he is an independent witness.

10:56am Judge Holroyde invites the jury to rejoin the court and informs them that Ms Clarke has been dismissed for the moment, citing ‘difficulties in continuing her testimony’. She may return to the witness box later today.

10.40am Trial postponed for a few minutes.

10:20am Ms Clarke confirms her name and the fact that she and Damian had
moved to Moorfield Terrace.

10:16am Defence QC Wigglesworth calls Damian Gorman’s girlfriend of three years, Sarah
Clarke, to the stand.

10:00am Preston Crown Court is back in session, Judge Holroyde invites the
jury to sit and we are ready to hear further evidence in the trial.

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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