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Friday 22 August 2014

Man admits murdering two police officers in gun and grenade attack

Paul Keaveny

Published 12/02/2013 | 15:36

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Dale Cregan has admitted the murders of police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes
Dale Cregan has admitted the murders of police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes

DALE CREGAN has dramatically changed his plea and admitted murdering two unarmed police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

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Cregan, 29, pleaded guilty to murdering Pc Fiona Bone, 32, and Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, during his trial at Preston Crown Court.

He continues to deny murdering father and son David and Mark Short.

Last week the families of the two murdered policewomen sobbed in court as they listened to details of the "bloody conclusion" to Cregan's alleged string of attacks.

The court heard that he told police, "I'll be waiting", as he lured the unarmed and unsuspecting officers with a bogus 999 call.

When the officers arrived Cregan attacked, firing 32 times in a matter of seconds, emptying his handgun's magazine, before leaving his "calling card" by throwing a military fragmentation grenade as his victims lay bleeding on the floor, the court was told.

The jury heard how Pc Bone fell in a hail of 24 bullets when she drew her Taser and tried to respond.

Cregan also blasted Pc Hughes in the head three times as she lay paralysed on the floor.

After the attack "calm and casual" Cregan, who had groomed himself with new clothes and a haircut on his last night of freedom, handed himself in saying: "I'm wanted by the police and I've just done two coppers," the jury heard.

Last week Nicholas Clarke QC detailed the final moments of the officers' lives.

As he did their loved ones, sitting in the public gallery, could not contain their emotions.

As Pc Bone's sister Vicky began to cry, her mother June put a consoling arm around her shoulder to give her a hug.

Pc Bone's partner Clare Curran had her head down, chin nearly touching her chest, motionless, looking down at the floor, while the officer's father Paul Bone, looked blankly across the courtroom, his left hand holding his chin and a finger touching his lips.

In the row of seats in front, Pc Hughes's mother Susan sat hunched weeping while her father Bryn hugged his new partner Natalie in an attempt to console her as she wiped away tears with a handkerchief.

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