Cregan appears in court charged with murder

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DALE Cregan has appeared in court accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen, including Fiona Bone, whose family live in Port St Mary.

Fiona Bone, 32, who went to Castle Rushen High School, and Nicola Hughes, 23, described as “wonderful human beings” and dedicated police officers, died in Hattersley, Tameside, on Tuesday morning.

The defendant also faced charges of murdering father and son David and Mark Short earlier this year and four attempted murders.

Cregan, wearing a dark blue sweatshirt, was brought into the secure dock at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court flanked by four police officers. The hearing lasted just two minutes.

Two more officers dressed in military-style fatigues and armed with machine guns stood outside the dock. Cregan, who has grown a thick beard, scanned the courtroom and stared over at the public gallery, where relatives of the Short family were seated.

Cregan sat down as he was brought into the dock but got to his feet after he was asked to stand by District Judge Jonathan Taaffe. He wore a false black onyx eye in his left eye socket and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth to the courtroom, which was packed with reporters.

Judge Taaffe then read out the eight charges the defendant faces, including that of murdering the two officers.

The double killing provoked national shock and outrage after the unarmed policewoman were lured by a routine burglary call to a house on the sprawling Hattersley estate. Cregan was arrested a short time later after walking into Hyde Police Station two miles away.

The 29-year-old was already wanted by police in relation to the murders of David and Mark Short in separate attacks in May and August this year. He has been charged with those two murders and also faces four further counts of attempted murder of three men and one woman who were either injured or present during the attacks on Mr Short senior and junior.

The court heard that the four murder charges and four attempted murder charges were so serious they could only be dealt with by law at a higher court and the case was automatically sent to Manchester Crown Court for a further hearing on Monday. Cregan was remanded into custody and there was no application for bail by his solicitor, David Caplin.

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