Manchester shootings: Dale Cregan charged with four murders


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The Independent Online

Dale Cregan was tonight charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack, police said.

The 29-year-old is also accused of killing father and son David and Mark Short in separate incidents earlier this year.

In addition, Cregan faces four charges of attempted murder.

The deaths of Pcs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone during a bogus burglary call in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday shocked the nation and has elicited an outpouring of sympathy across the country.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “The tragic events this week in which Police Constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes lost their lives in the line of duty have shocked and appalled the whole country.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sympathies to their families, friends and to all their colleagues in Greater Manchester Police on their very sad loss.

“I have today authorised the police to charge 29-year-old Dale Cregan with their murders and with the murders of Mark Short, who was killed at the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden on 25 May, and David Short, who was killed at his home in Clayton on 10 August.

“Cregan has also been charged with the attempted murders of Michael Belcher, Ryan Pridding and John Short on 25 May and Sharon Hark on 10 August.

“He will appear in custody at Manchester City Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

“The CPS 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.

“May I remind all concerned that, as Dale Cregan has now been charged with criminal offences, it is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial and jeopardise the course of justice in this case. For these reasons I am not able to comment further about the case at this time.”

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, who was also at the press conference at the force's headquarters, said: “I'd just like to say this is a complex investigation and I would ask that anybody who has any information about the murders of our two officers or the other murders we have just been hearing about, that those people look at their conscience and come forward.”

The murder of the two officers provoked nationwide shock and outrage.

Cregan was already wanted by police in relation to the murders of David and Mark Short.

Mark Short died from a gunshot wound to the neck after a gunman opened fire in the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden, Tameside, at around at 11.50pm on May 25.

Cregan has also been charged with the attempted murders of Mr Belcher, Mr Pridding and Mr Short, who were in the pub at the time.

The body of the victim's father, David Short, 46, was found at a house in Folkestone Road East in Clayton, Manchester, at 10.30am on August 10, after police were called there following reports of gunshots. A hand grenade was also used in that attack.

Less than 10 minutes later, there was another grenade explosion outside a house in Luke Road in Droylsden. No-one was injured in that incident.

Cregan has been charged with the attempted murder of Ms Hark in relation to the incidents that day.

Sir Peter said: “This remains a complex investigation and the fact we have charged someone does not mean the investigation is complete.

“We still have someone in custody and people on bail and there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We have been touched by the many thousands of messages received from the public who are as shocked as we are and I want to thank them for their support over the last few days.

“We will continue our high-visibility presence in the Hattersley area and I would urge anyone who has any information about what happened on Tuesday morning or in the lead-up to it, they must do the right and just thing and contact us.”