Thursday 22 March 2018

Cregan 'put grenade in man's mouth'

Dale Cregan is accused of murdering Mark and David Short (Greater Manchester Police/PA)
Dale Cregan is accused of murdering Mark and David Short (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

One-eyed Dale Cregan put a hand grenade in the mouth of a man he held captive while on the run from police, a court has been told.

Jermaine Ward, 24, claims Cregan and another man, Anthony Wilkinson, 33, also threatened to shoot him and his family while keeping him as a virtual "slave" for two weeks while they hid from police, Preston Crown Court heard.

Cregan, 29, was on the run after allegedly murdering father and son, David and Mark Short, during a deadly feud between families in east Manchester. After a nationwide manhunt he lured Pc Fiona Bone, 32, and Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, to a bogus burglary report at a house in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, last September 18. When they arrived he opened fire without warning on the unarmed officers with a Glock semi-automatic gun before throwing a grenade at the dying policewomen and then handing himself in.

Cregan had been a wanted man after Mark Short, 23, was gunned down in the Cotton Tree Pub, Droylsden, Manchester, on May 25 last year. It is claimed Jermaine Ward played an "integral part" in the later attack on David Short, 46, at his home in Clayton, Manchester, 10 weeks after his son was murdered.

The jury was read parts of Ward's statement to police and shown video recordings of him being questioned in detail by officers. Ward claimed on the day of David Short's murder he had agreed to drive a Vauxhall Combo van for Cregan and he drove him and Wilkinson to Mr Short's home address.

It is alleged Cregan and Wilkinson chased David Short through his house shooting him repeatedly before tossing a hand grenade on his dying body and blowing him apart. Ward claimed the pair told him to wait in the van with the engine running before they returned to the vehicle. Ward told officers in interview: "I heard a bang, Dale has got blood on him. I knew something had happened, he's like, 'Drive! Drive!' I was shaking. He rammed a gun at the side of my head. He told me which way to drive."

Ward said an Asian male, who the prosecution says is co-defendant Mohammed Ali, then took them from Greater Manchester to West Yorkshire to hide and kept them supplied with food while in the apartment. He told police he had his phone taken away and was kept as a "slave" in an apartment for nearly two weeks with Cregan and Wilkinson.

After 10 to 12 days they took him out of the flat - and Ward said he thought they were going to kill him. But he was kicked out of the van and made his way to a police station in Huddersfield to give himself up. Ward maintains he only acted as a "getaway" driver on the murder of David Short under duress. He denies murder, one count of attempted murder and causing an explosion.

Cregan and Wilkinson along with Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, all deny the murder of David Short, the attempted murder of Sharon Hark on the same day, and a single charge of causing an explosion. Wilkinson is additionally charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and Mohammed Ali, 32, from Chadderton, Greater Manchester, is accused of assisting an offender.

Cregan, Leon Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Luke Livesey, 27, from Hattersley, Damian Gorman, 38, from Glossop, Ryan Hadfield, 28, from Droylsden, and Matthew James, 33, from Clayton, are all accused of the murder of Mark Short at the Cotton Tree Pub, Droylsden, on May 26 last year, and the attempted murders of three others also in the pub at the time - John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher. They deny all charges. Cregan has admitted the murders of Pcs Bone and Hughes and faces life in jail.

Press Association

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