Would Dale Cregan have done it if he’d have been hanged? Family of Fiona Bone left ‘numb’ by murder

By Glen Keogh

Dale Cregan will die in prison for his horrific, cocaine-fuelled crime wave across Greater Manchester.

However, that is no justice for the parents of Fiona Bone, one of the four people he murdered in cold-blood.

The 32-year-old PC – born in Norwich and brought up in Scotland before moving to the Isle of Man was shot dead on duty in her new life in Manchester.

Her father Paul, a retired aircraft engineer, and sister Vicky, had Fiona taken away from them by a man who wanted to get revenge on the police.

He took his revenge by slaughtering two innocent women at a house in Mottram, Tameside, on September 18 last year.

After changing his plea to guilty to the murder of two policewomen during the second week of his trial, and later admitting to killing a father and son and attempting to murder three other men, Cregan will die in jail, which Fiona’s father thinks isn’t soon enough.

“In certain circumstances I think capital punishment would be a good idea and this possibly is one of them,” he said after travelling from the Isle of Man to Manchester to speak about his beloved daughter.

So, would he hang Cregan?

“As long as I didn’t have to do it – it’s the cowards’ way out,” he added, before daughter Vicky, 36, made a salient point.

“I wonder if he would’ve done what he did if capital punishment was still in,” she said.

Paul added: “Would a jury still convict? When they are cutting back on everything else, prisoners costing thousands to keep in jail, 30 to 40 years, it’s an awfully long time.”

PRIDE: Funeral of PC Bone at Manchester Cathedral

Despite her father’s pride at Fiona joining the police and giving the job her all, he admits he didn’t want her to become a policewoman.

“I wanted her to join the air force because I thought it would be far safer,” he said.

However, that’s what Fiona enjoyed, the fact you don’t know what you’re going to be doing on a day to day basis.

No-one could have predicted what lay in wait at the hoax burglary call-out that cost Fiona her life.

What is most poignant of all, is that Fiona and her beloved partner Clare were due to marry last month – Sunday May 26 to be precise – and were planning the wedding in every spare moment around her job.

“The hotel was near Knutsford,” Paul, 64, said.

“That was booked and the registrar was booked and it was two o’clock-ish Sunday afternoon, so everyone would have a chance to go to wherever they were going back to on the Bank Holiday Monday.

“We were told by a colleague she was doing a rough-out of the wedding invitations on the day she was killed… in the police station.”

Fiona was murdered at the happiest time in her life – days off work consisted of planning a wedding and looking for dresses.

She was 32-years-old, in love, getting married and in a good job with a ready-made family.

Anger doesn’t cover the feelings of the Bone family.

Paul said: “Anger is not the right word to describe it. Numb might be. Yeah, numb.”

He was at home with his wife on the day of her death when he turned on the news and saw that two policewomen had been killed.

“Within 30 seconds of it being on the TV, there was a knock at the door and two policemen were there,” he added.

“They told us unfortunately our daughter was one of the two policewomen that had been killed, I think the TV had said two had been injured, not two killed.”

The family are still in shock nine months on, especially at the manner of her death – cut down in her prime by a man who knew nothing about her.

“Cregan lives in a different world and planet to me, from what we have heard and read of the court case. He’s just got a totally different mindset,” Paul said.

“I can’t imagine anyone just going out, thinking ‘I’m going to shoot a policeman today because they have upset me.’”

It’s impossible for him to imagine when it will all sink in, if ever.

Fiona’s sister Vicky added: “Your initial reaction is, however bad it is, you’re not thinking the worst, you’re thinking you will get to her and somehow magically fix it, there’s something we can do, we will get to her, then there’s the feeling there’s nothing you can do, it’s too late.

“I think part of you is adrenaline. You need to get to her to help her.

“The other part of you is thinking, no amount of adrenaline is going to make any difference.

“No matter what you do, it’s too late to look after her.”

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles