Sep 21 2012
A huge security operation was mounted as alleged police killer Dale Cregan was brought to court to face four murder charges.
Cregan, accused of murdering Pcs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in a gun and grenade attack in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, arrived at the city's magistrates' court under heavily-armed guard.
Officers surrounded the court building and an armed unit accompanied the convoy of six vehicles which brought him from custody. As the van which held Cregan entered the court's underground car park, four armed police officers emerged from a 4x4 to guard the gates.
Cregan is also accused of killing Mark Short at the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden, Tameside, on May 25 and his father David in an attack at his home in Clayton, Manchester, on August 10.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that armed police staged a raid at the housing estate in Hattersley two weeks before the two officers were killed there. A search took place on the morning of August 16 at a house near the murder scene as part of the hunt for Cregan, who was wanted over the deaths of the Shorts. No arrest was made.
Cregan, 29, also faces four charges of attempted murder, three in relation to the shooting in the Cotton Tree Inn. Michael Belcher, Ryan Pridding and John Short suffered leg and back injuries when an armed assailant wearing a balaclava entered the pub and shot them.
David Short, 46, was found at his home in Folkestone Road East 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.
The fourth attempted murder charge relates to the incidents that day. Cregan is accused of trying to murder Sharon Hark.
Greater Manchester Police have been given more time to question a 28-year-old man, named by sources as Stephen Garvey, who has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder in relation to Pc Bone and Pc Hughes. This is due to expire at 9.15am on Saturday.
Following the deaths of the officers the Greater Manchester force has received over 30,000 messages on its online book of condolence, more than 20,000 have been posted on the force's Facebook page and more than 1.3 million people have viewed the tribute to the officers on Facebook. Police from across the country have also offered to provide cover so officers can attend the funerals of Pcs Bone and Hughes.