Dale Cregan charged with murder of two officers - and two others

Manchester suspect to appear in court over four killings and further attempted murders

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The Independent Online

Dale Cregan will appear in court today charged with four murders including those of two unarmed female police officers.

The 29-year old is also accused of killing father and son, David and Mark Short, as well as four other attempted murders. He will appear in custody at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said the "complex investigation" into the deaths of PCs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, continued. The officers died in a gun and grenade attack when they answered a bogus burglary report in Hattersley on Tuesday.

Their deaths have caused a huge outpouring of national grief. Sir Peter urged anyone with information about any of the alleged offences to "look to their consciences and come forward".

Cregan was also charged with the attempted murders of Michael Belcher, Ryan Pridding and John Short on 25 May. They were shot at the Cotton Tree Inn, Droylsden, where Mark Short, 23, died from a neck wound. Three men have already been charged with his murder. Four others, including a woman, are on bail pending inquiries.

David Short, 46, was killed at his home in Clayton on 10 August in a gun and grenade attack. A few minutes later there was another explosion outside a house on Luke Road in Droylsden. Cregan is also charged with the attempted murder of Sharon Hark that day. Two men – Anthony Wilkinson and Jermaine Ward – have already appeared in court charged with murdering David Short.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North-west, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service and Greater Manchester Police are absolutely determined to deliver justice for those who have been killed and for their families, and we will continue working closely during the ongoing investigations into these deaths."

Another man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. He is understood to be Stephen Garvey, 28, who was reportedly being questioned about the hoax burglary report. The news came as Greater Manchester Police's most senior officers warned criminals to end their deadly feud, which is alleged to have led to the murder of the two unarmed officers.

The Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Shewan, said their deaths could offer a "watershed moment" in the battle against crime: "I would say the strong message that Greater Manchester Police has been using over the last six weeks, and perhaps even further back, is, 'Enough is enough. This has to end'."

It was revealed last night that four weeks before the policewomen were killed, armed police raided another address on the same estate in the hunt for Cregan.

Sir Peter and Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley of the Tameside division, under whom both officers served, laid a wreath yesterday at the scene of the gun and grenade attack and said he was determined that "the loss of life will not be in vain".

He added: "We will redouble our efforts to get rid of those who instil fear in our communities. Their deaths will be remembered for positive reasons."

Facebook user is arrested 'for praising murder'

A 22-year-old man from Liverpool has been arrested after a Facebook page was set up praising the alleged killer Dale Cregan as "a legend".

A joint operation involving Manchester and Merseyside officers was launched when Facebook users reported the tribute, which also suggested that Cregan should be made an OBE. Facebook said pages and messages posted by so-called "trolls" were taken down for breaching its statement of rights and responsibilities. The suspect was arrested in Netherley, Liverpool, on Wednesday night.