LIVE UPDATES: Dale Cregan murder trial day 25… as it happens

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson and Rob Lowson

Welcome to day 25 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.

16.07pm: Judge Holroyde has sent home the jury for the day, with proceedings set to resume at 11.30am tomorrow.

15.58pm: Mr Wigglesworth concludes his cross-examination, and Mr Clarke begins his re-examination of the witness.

15.55pm: Wilkinson had telephoned Ms Latham on August 8, the court hears, with a view to taking his children to Chester Zoo on August 10, the day of Mr Short’s murder.

15.54pm: DS Findell says Ms Latham told him during the 60-90 minute interview: “All I can say is what he said to me last time we spoke. I read it to say he was going to do something.”

15.50pm: In the interview with Ms Latham on August 14, DS Findell says he asked whether she knew of the whereabouts of Wilkinson, who police could not track at the time. Mr Birkett argues that there are no recorded questions probing where Wilkinson might be, to which DS Findell responds that notes are not verbatim.

15.46pm: DS Findell had also spoken to Ms Latham on August 13, when she told him she had missed two telephone calls from Wilkinson’s phone. She was with Joan Wilkinson, Wilkinson’s mother. DS Findell did not make any note of the conversation, claiming Ms Latham did not go into any detail.

15.43pm: DS Findell’s colleague took notes from his interview with Ms Latham, with neither party signing them. Ms Latham did not make an official statement.

15.41pm: Mr Clarke has completed his questioning, and Mr Birkett, representing Wilkinson, begins his cross-examination.

15.40pm: The court is told that Wilkinson had met Mr Short in prison, sharing the same wing as him before becoming involved in a dispute after their release. Ms Latham told DS Findell that she did not know why.

15.38pm: DS Findell tells the court that Ms Latham told him she had contact with Marion Wilkinson by phone on the morning of Mr Short’s murder, who confirmed he had been shot. Ms Latham said that she believed Wilkinson was involved given her conversation with him the day before.

15.35pm: Police call records show Ms Latham received a call at 8.57pm on August 9 from Wilkinson’s phone, with Wilkinson telling her: “What’s got to be done has got to be done”, “Don’t ever think I’m not thinking of the kids in all this” and “I’ve got tears in my eyes – I will always love them [his children]”.

15.33pm: Wilkinson told Ms Latham, according to DS Findell: “Make sure the kids will remember me…it will be on the news tomorrow.” Ms Latham said Wilkinson was ‘edgy’.

15.32pm: In an interview at Chadderton Police Station, Ms Latham told DS Findell that she had last seen Wilkinson on August 9, after he turned up unexpectedly at her home address and let himself into her house.

15.31pm: DS Findell was involved in the investigation of the murder of David Short, and is being questioned about his contact with Lucy Latham, ex-girlfriend of defendant Wilkinson, with whom she had two children. DS Findell spoke to Ms Latham on August 14, four days after Mr Short’s killing.

15.28pm: The jury has returned, and the next witness is called to the stand. He is Detective Sergeant Matthew Findell, of Greater Manchester Police, and is under questioning from prosecutor Mr Clarke.

15.12pm: The jury have been sent for a short break, with proceedings to resume at 15.25pm.

15.11pm: Mr Wigglesworth argues the witness did not see a gun, to which she responds she ‘saw something in Gorman’s jumper’. Mr Wigglesworth again argues the witness’s husband had drank four pints before the incident.

15.10pm: Mr Clarke has concluded questioning, and Mr Wigglesworth, representing Gorman, is now cross-examining the witness.

15.09pm: After the incident, the pub was closed earlier than normal, with the couple then discussing matters and deciding to contact the police the next morning. The witness confirms she also made a formal police statement, before later retracting it.

15.08pm: The witness tells the court how, on May 2 2004, the day of the incident, Gorman told her and her husband he would ‘hurt one of us’ if he was not let into the pub, with Gorman stood in the doorway. The witness was told by her husband to stay behind the bar while he spoke to Gorman, and the witness tells the court she was ‘worried’ for her husband.

15.06pm: The witness knew Gorman before he was barred, and had tried on a number of occasions to gain entry to the pub after his ban.

15.00pm: The next witness enters court, and is the wife and co-licensee of the previous witness.

14.55pm: Mr Wigglesworth has completed his questioning and after brief re-examination by Mr Clarke, the witness leaves the stand.

14.52pm: Mr Wigglesworth is arguing no weapon was ever produced by Gorman, and the incident was exaggerated and could not have been so serious given the witness only notified police at 11am the following day. The witness responds, “Were you there?”, and retorts “How would you feel to have a gun pulled on you?”

14.50pm: The court has been told the original ban from the witness’ pub for Gorman was applied in December 2003, and that the witness had drank four pints of beer on the day of the incident. The witness claims that alcohol did not in any way affect his recollection.

14.49pm: In the formal retraction of his written statement, the witness wrote how ‘dragging the incident through the courts would reignite the previous problem’ and that he was ‘under no pressure’ to make that decision.

14.45pm: The witness was contacted by police on January 15 this year, to discuss the incident again, but told police he was ‘not interested’. He tells the court he was ‘made’ to attend trial today.

14.42pm: The court is told that the witness contacted police the day after the incident, making a formal statement. However, on July 22 2004, two months later, he retracted his statement, and no further action was taken.

14.40pm: Mr Clarke has completed his questioning and Ray Wigglesworth QC, representing Gorman, is now cross-examining.

14.38pm: Gorman, a regular customer of the pub, left after one of his friends said to him, “This is out of order, come on, we’ve got things to do”. The whole incident lasted around 15-20minutes, the witness claims.

14.37pm: The gun at no point was pointed towards the witness, who says he was two feet away from Gorman, but when put back in Gorman’s jacket pocket it was pointed forward towards the witness.

14.23pm: Gorman is one of six men charged with the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murder of John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher, on May 25 2012.

14.22pm: The next witness is the former licensee of a Manchester pub, who barred a man named Damien Gorman before an incident in May 2004, which is the focus of this afternoon’s session. He is being questioned by lead prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC.

14.21pm: After a brief delay for legal discussion, the jury have returned and court is back in session.

13.03pm: The jury have been sent for lunch, with proceedings to resume at 14.00pm.

13.02pm: Mr Clarke has completed his re-examination and the witness leaves the stand.

12.59pm: He claims that any quotes used in his statement are ‘the actual quote she would have told me in the car’.

12.58pm: DS Donlan, under questioning, claims he is ‘certain’ that Ms Wilkinson used the exact words ‘be or be killed’ and ‘David will be in that grave with Mark very soon’ when talking of what her stepson had told her.

12.57pm: Mr Birkett concludes his questioning and Mr Clarke is now re-examining DS Donlan.

12.56pm: Defence is arguing DS Donlan’s notes were not checked by a colleague and only contained small snippets of conversation. They also claim Ms Wilkinson has never been allowed to check the notes, and that when DS Donlon made a note about Cregan, Ms Wilkinson asked to leave the vehicle.

12.55pm: Ms Wilkinson told DS Donlan that Wilkinson may have gone to Tenerife as he had access to a passport and she had last spoken to him two weeks before.

12.53pm: DS Donlan claims Ms Wilkinson did not mention the fact Wilkinson had supposedly been to the cemetery to say goodbye to his father. He also confirms Ms Wilkinson told him he spoke to Ms Latham – Wilkinson’s partner – after the shooting, and she did respond, ‘So, he’s done it, then?’

12.50pm: DS Donlan claims Ms Wilkinson did not go into any detail regarding the supposed threats made to her stepson.

12.49pm: Defence is arguing Ms Wilkinson thought she was having a confidential discussion with DS Donlan, and she gave information as she was anxious the police found her stepson Anthony ‘before others got to him’.

12.44pm: DS Donlan points out it is in his second statement, with Mr Birkett asking him how he remembered such detailed information only months after the killing.

12.42pm: Mr Birkett is arguing that Ms Wilkinson’s attestation that her stepson had told her Mr Short would soon be in the grave with his son, as threats towards him and his family had made it ‘kill or be killed’, was not noted anywhere.

12.40pm: Defence is scrutinising DS Donlan’s two witness statements from October 5 2012 and January 17 2013.

12.36pm: Mr Clarke has concluded questioning and the witness is now being cross-examined by Mr Birkett, representing Wilkinson.

12.35pm: DS Donlan claims he set up a code with Ms Wilkinson so she would know if it was a police officer calling her mobile.

12.33pm: DS Donlan tells the court that when Ms Wilkinson noticed him noting down their conversation she became ‘a little hysterical’ and wanted to leave the vehicle. She had been ‘very nervous and anxious’ throughout, DS Donlan claimed.

12.30pm: Wilkinson had also told her he had received some threats from David Short towards himself and his family and it was ‘kill or be killed’, the court hears. Mark Short, son of David Short, was killed on May 25 last year in a shooting at the Cotton Tree pub, Droylsden.

12.27pm: Wilkinson had told his stepmother that David [Short] would be ‘in the grave with Mark very soon’, according to DS Donlan.

12.26pm: She told DS Donlan that Wilkinson had been asking her how often Mr Short visited his son’s grave at Droylsden Cemetery, to which she replied he usually visited the grave each morning. She knew this as she regularly visited her late husband’s grave at the same time, which was nearby.

12.24pm: She said she had rang Lucy Latham, partner of Wilkinson, on that morning and told her Mr Short had been killed. Ms Latham replied: “So, he’s done it, then?”

12.23pm: DS Donlan says Ms Wilkinson asked to be taken to Droylsden Cemetery, where all the conversation regarding the murder took place from 1.40pm onwards.

12.22pm: DS Donlan – alone in civilian clothes – was given a name, description and the contact number of Ms Wilkinson and he met her in her car parked on Buckley Street, Droyslden. She told DS Donlon she was the stepmother of Anthony Wilkinson and had some information to give the police regarding the shooting.

12.20pm: DS Donlan was the officer discharged to meet Ms Wilkinson at Droylsden Police Station after her emergency call to Ms Sarno.

12.19pm: The next witness is sworn in: Detective Sergeant David Donlan, of Greater Manchester Police.

12.17pm: The jury are back in and court one resumes session.

12.02pm: Judge Holroyde has sent the jury for a short 15-minute break.

12.01pm: Mr Clarke has completed his re-examination and Ms Sarno leaves the witness stand.

11.57am: Mr Birkett completes his cross-examination, and Mr Clarke is re-examining the witness. Focus had turned to the email she based her statement on, circulated at 3.18pm on August 10.

11.53am: Ms Sarno also admits that information she types onto the FWIN cannot be a verbatim account, but is typed up accurately with ‘the best of my ability’.

11.52am: Ms Sarno, under questioning, says there was no indication from Ms Wilkinson that Wilkinson had been threatened or was in any danger before the killing took place.

11.49am: Ms Wilkinson told Ms Sarno that Wilkinson had told her the incident would ‘be on the news’, the court hears.

11.44am: The court is told the FWIN was opened at 10.30am on August 10, minutes after the shooting, with Ms Wilkinson ‘s call lasting from 12.48pm to 12.56pm. Arrangements were then made for an officer to visit Ms Wilkinson.

11.36am: Ms Wilkinson also claimed, according to the statement, that Anthony Wilkinson said he would kill her and her children if she passed any further information on to the police about him.

11.35am: Ms Sarno’s witness statement claimed Ms Wilkinson told her she would give further details only to an officer in person, and she did not know the whereabouts of Anthony Wilkinson.

11.34am: The email was prepared shortly after by her supervisor, the court is told, and was based upon what Ms Sarno had said during the 999 call.

11.28am: Mr Birkett claims Ms Sarno could not have based her witness statement on the FWIN as it was edited and removed, and no statement could be made without looking at the FWIN. However, Ms Sarno says she based her statement on a circulated email regarding the call, a call which was she did not know was not recorded.

11.27am: The defence is referring to the Force Wide Incident Number (FWIN), which is allocated to each unique incident dealt with by the police. They are also scrutinising the witness statement made by Ms Sarno on January 17 2013, more than five months after the 999 call.

11.22am: Mr Clarke completes his questioning, and Peter Birkett QC, representing Anthony Wilkinson, is now cross-examining. Wilkinson is one of four men, including Ward, charged with Mr Short’s murder, the attempted murder of Ms Hark and a single charge of causing an explosion.

11.21am: Ms Wilkinson told Ms Sarno she did not believe that he would go through with the killing.

11.20am: He had gone to the cemetery to say goodbye to his father, Ms Wilkinson allegedly told Ms Sarno, and had said goodbye to his children.

11.17am: The gunman, Ms Wilkinson allegedly said, was her late husband’s son and he had told her he would kill Mr Short on August 8 or August 9.

11.15am: Ms Sarno says Ms Wilkinson told her she knew the person who had shot him.

11.05am: Ms Sarno tells the court she took a call from Marion Wilkinson at 12.48pm on August 10, just hours after the murder. She was already aware of the killing as she had earlier taken a different call regarding it.

11.00am: The next witness is Lydia Sarno, a Greater Manchester Police emergency call handler who was working on August 10, the day of David Short’s murder. Mr Clarke begins his questioning.

10.57am: Mr Fisher has concluded questioning, and Mr Leedham leaves the witness stand.

10.55am: Ward is one of four men charged with the murder of David Short on August 10, the attempted murder of Sharon Hark on the same day, and a single charge of causing an explosion. Mr Short was killed in a gun and grenade attack on his own home, on Folkestone Road East, Clayton

10.54am: Mr Clarke has concluded questioning, with David Fisher QC, representing Ward, now cross-examining.

10.50am: Ward was then arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice, driving while disqualified and providing false instruments, the latter referring to a false driving licence.

10.48am: Perry Lee Ward, the driver, was arrested, with fingerprint checks at a nearby police station identifying him as Jermaine Anton Ward, with Perry being his brother.

10.46am: The car contained three men, Mr Leedham says, who gave their names as Perry Lee Ward, Lee Campbell and Francis Stephen Dixon.

10.45am: Mr Leedham tells the court he stopped a BMW X5 on the M6 toll road, near Cannock, at around 9.45am on March 9 2011.

10.40am: The first witness is PC Michael Leedham, who works for the Central Motorway Police Group. He is now being examined by lead prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC.

10.37am: The judge, jury, defendants and barristers 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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