Pictures: Armed convoy secure area as Dale Cregan appears at Manchester court charged with four murders

By Dean Wilkins

The distraught family of father and son David and Mark Short watched as Dale Cregan appeared in court charged with murdering four people in Manchester.

One-eyed Cregan, 29, of Droylsden, is accused of murdering the father and son as well as PC Nicola Hughes, 23, and PC Fiona Bone, 32, who were gunned down during a ‘routine incident’ on Tuesday.

Police brought Cregan into Manchester City Magistrates’ Court in an armed convoy, and he was taken to the courtroom surrounded by officers equipped with semi-automatic guns.

The man who managed to escape the grasp of Greater Manchester Police for 39 days took his seat in the dock wearing a black sweatshirt and his false onyx eye.

The Short’s family and friends sat just metres away – one member wore a hooded top that read ‘RIP Mark’ with four pictures of the young father who was killed in a pub shooting in May.

ARMED GUARD: Officers patrol outside of courtroom as Cregan is escorted away

The defendant also faces four charges of attempted murder – three men who were shot during the ‘targeted 15 second attacked’ at the Cotton Tree pub on May 25, and one woman who was injured during a gun and grenade hit on August 10.

Four armed officers stood in the court room, and two more guarded the entrance, while District Judge Jonathan Taaffe read out the eight charges against Cregan – including murdering the two female officers in Hattersley.

The hearing lasted just two minutes and Cregan simply answered ‘Yeah’ when asked to confirm his name and date of birth.

GMP’s Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy described the shootings of Miss Bone and Miss Hughes as ‘the darkest day in the force’s history’ after they were dispatched to a house burglary call.

DALE CREGAN: Man charged with four murders and four attempted murders

Both officers – who had eight years’ experience in the force between them – were shot dead while responding to the call, and a Taser was found out of its holster nearby to PC Bone.

Around 30 minutes later, Cregan handed himself into a Hyde police station.

He had already been arrested for the murder of Mark Short, but was released on bail as there was ‘insufficient evidence’.

ARMED ESCORT: Cregan is driven away from courtroom after two minute hearing

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