Judge issues contempt warning to police, politicians and media over over Dale Cregan trial


A judge warned senior politicians, police and the media against saying anything that could prejudice the trial of Dale Cregan who is accused of murdering four people including two unarmed female police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

The Honorary Recorder of Manchester, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC said the deaths of  Pcs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday had attracted widespread publicity.

He said: "There has also been some comment from politicians, including those of the greatest seniority.

"Deciding what happened in these current cases, and the determination of whether or not this or these defendants or any other defendant is or are guilty of this or any other crime, is a matter for a jury to consider and not for the press, broadcasting media, internet sites, police or politicians."

Judge Gilbart said Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy had spoken "frankly and movingly" about the loss of two of his officers and it was only right that senior politicians through the media comment on such "terrible events", "provided that they do so within the usual proper bounds".

The law prohibits the publication of any details about a defendant or alleged offences that could interfere with the administration of justice and a fair trial.

Cregan, 29, was appearing by videolink at Manchester Crown Court. He was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link at Liverpool Crown Court on November 5. 

As well as being accused of the two officers' murders, Cregan is also charged with the murders of David Short, 46, and his son, Mark, 23, who were killed in May and August this year. He is also accused of four attempted murders.