One-eyed cop killer Dale Cregan will never be released from prison, it was ruled today.
Despite being found not guilty of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark – the final remaining charge against him, he was sentenced to whole life imprisonment at Preston Crown Court by Judge Holroyd.
Cregan, 30, had already pleaded guilty to the cold-blooded murders of policewomen Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32 – changing his plea in February, the second week of the trial.
He killed the officers after calling them out to a hoax burglary in Mottram, Tameside on September 18 last year.
When they arrived he opened fire, unleashing a hail of 32 bullets before detonating a grenade over their bloodied bodies as his ‘calling card’.
Cregan gave a false name as he reported a concrete slab had been thrown through a back window to lure the officers out.
His last comment to the call handler was: “I’ll be waiting.”
He opened the front door as they walked up the front garden path and immediately shot them in the chest with a Glock handgun – with PC Hughes shot eight times – including three strikes to the head as she lay on the ground.
PC Bone was hit up to eight times after she managed to draw and fire her Taser.
Cregan discharged 32 bullets in total in barely half a minute.
It was at this point he left his ‘calling card’ of a military grenade which he threw it on the path where the two officers lay.
The killer then dropped his gun and drove a short distance to Hyde police station where he calmly walked up to the counter clerk and said: “I’m wanted by the police and I’ve just done two coppers.”
Cregan put his arms out to be handcuffed and said he was there to hand himself in.
He then told an officer: “I dropped the gun at the scene and I’ve murdered two police officers. You were hounding my family so I took it out on yous.”
Last month, Cregan also changed his plea to guilty to murdering father and son David and Mark Short.
Mark Short, 23, was gunned down in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden in May 2012.
The shooting was initially alleged to have been masterminded by 35-year-old Leon Atkinson, from Ashton-under-Lyne, to settle a long-standing feud between the Atkinsons and the Shorts.
However, Atkinson was today found not guilty of all charges put to him – including the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murder of three other men who were in The Cotton Tree pub on the day of Mark Short’s murder.
The jury at Preston Crown Court delivered their verdicts this afternoon on the ten defendants on trial for a variety of horrific offences relating to gangland feuds across Greater Manchester.
Cregan executed Mark Short at The Cotton Tree pub with recruits Luke Livesey, 28, from Hattersley and Damian Gorman, 38, from Glossop, who were also found guilty.
Ryan Hadfield, 29, from Droylsden, and Matthew James, 33, from Clayton were cleared of the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murder charges.
Cregan murdered David Short, 46, at his home in Clayton, Greater Manchester, in a gun and grenade attack using the same Glock handgun used to kill the policewomen, and the same type of grenade.
He targeted Short outside his home on August 10 last year as he unloaded furniture from his car.
He chased him through and out of his house and shot him numerous times before a grenade was thrown at him with ‘devastating consequences’ for his torso.
It was the first time a military grenade had been deployed in the country in this way.
At Preston Crown Court, Anthony Wilkinson, 34 from the Beswick area, pleaded guilty to one count of the murder of David Short and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. He was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 35 years.
Jermaine Anton Ward, 24, was found guilty of one count of the murder of David Short and sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 33 years.
Mohammed Imran Ali, 33, from the Chadderton area, has been found guilty of assisting an offender in connection with the death of David Short and was jailed for seven years.
Luke Livesey, 28, from the Hattersley area, has been found guilty of one count of the murder of Mark Short and three counts of attempted murder and was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 33 years.
Damien Gorman, 38, from the Glossop area, was found guilty of one count of the murder of Mark Short and three counts of attempted murder.
He was also jailed for life, with a minimum term of 33 years.
JAILED: (Clockwise from left) Livesey, Wilkinson, Ali, Gorman and Ward