Dale Cregan changes plea to admit he killed two women police officers


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The Independent Online

The man accused of murdering two unarmed female police officers in a gun and grenade attack last year is facing life in prison after admitting to killing them.

Dale Cregan, 29, changed his plea on the fourth day of a trial at Preston Crown Court. He still denies the murders of father and son David and Mark Short.

Constables Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, died in hail of bullets on 18 September last year after being lured to an address in Hattersley, Manchester, by a false burglary report.

Mr Justice Holroyde told the jury that the change of plea did not change the position of the other defendants. Nine other men are also on trial accused of murdering the Shorts as well as the attempted murder of four others and a variety of other offences. They deny all the charges.

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement that it welcomed the guilty pleas but due to the current court proceedings would not comment further. None of the families of the two officers was in court to hear the change  of plea.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the moment Cregan handed himself in at Hyde Police station, just minutes after murdering the two officers by firing 32 times from a Glock handgun and unleashing a fragmentation grenade.

The jury earlier heard that Cregan told police “I’ll be waiting” as he made the bogus 999 call using a false name. After the attack he appeared “calm and casual” when he handed himself in at a nearby police station, saying: “I’m wanted by the police and I’ve just done two coppers.”

He put his arms out to be handcuffed and 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.”