A drug-dealer, making thousands of pounds a week flooding Manchester’s streets with cocaine, a gangland enforcer and a cowardly thug who executed two innocent police officers in cold blood.
Dale Cregan will be remembered, as he wished.
But not as a folk hero, or a mafioso villain, – but as a power-crazed, glorified henchman, who will never be released from prison for his part in murdering four people.
The police monitored his movements before and after his first murder, where he slayed Mark Short in The Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden.
As shown in CCTV footage captured at the scene, Cregan can be seen running into the pub, where he opened fire on Short and three other men.
He then flees in the same vehicle while those who had been enjoying the 60th birthday party inside run terrified out of the other exit.
After standing trial and pleading not guilty to Short’s murder, and the subsequent murder of his father David, Cregan changed his plea in the 53rd day of this trial at Preston Crown Court.
CCTV footage captured on August 10 last year, the day Cregan murdered David Short, shows him causing an explosion at a house on Luke Road, Droylsden.
His accomplice, Anthony Wilkinson, has his hood up, trying to avoid being recognised. Cregan makes no such gesture, firing a handgun and detonating the grenade.
Then, after the horrific gun and grenade murders of PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes when they were lured to a house in Mottram, Tameside last September with reports of a burglary, Cregan handed himself in.
He drove to Hyde Police Station, dressed in shorts and a hooded jumper, and spoke to the officer on reception.
He said: “I’m wanted by the police and I’ve just done two coppers.”
With no hint of remorse, he then then put his arms out to be handcuffed and said he was handing 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.”
He had drawn the officers to the house with this phonecall. He can be heard talking calmly to the call handler, using a false name.
In the wake of the murders, Prime Minister David Cameron called the atrocity ‘an act of pure evil’.
Yesterday, Dale Cregan was sentenced to whole life imprisonment.
Five of his accomplices charged with a variety of offences were also jailed.
Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Tony Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Police and Ian Hanson, Chair of the Police Federation of Greater Manchester, gave a press conference in the wake of his sentence.
Despite Cregan’s sentence, Sir Peter said: “We take no satisfaction from today’s result, we just feel a huge sense of loss for our two departed colleagues.”