Reputation helped one-eyed murder suspect stay hidden for weeks

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A FEARSOME reputation and a network of gangland contacts is thought to have allowed suspect Dale Cregan to evade police for weeks despite a huge manhunt.

The face of the one-eyed 29-year-old, who bragged that he suffered the injury in a fight in Thailand, has been plastered across the region throughout the summer with a £50,000 reward offered for information leading to his arrest.

Officers conducted up to 50 armed raids looking for Cregan, with some taking place in West Yorkshire.

But despite residents claiming he had been seen in the Hyde, Hattersley and Mottram area for several weeks, nobody came forward to the police.

Cregan, who gave himself up at a police station in Hyde, had been questioned and bailed in connection with the murder of Mark Short, 23, who was shot dead in a Manchester pub on May 25.

On August 10, the body of his 46-year-old father David Short, was found at his house in the Clayton area of Greater Manchester after reports of gunfire.

A grenade - traced as a military weapon from the former Yugoslavia - was also detonated at the scene.

Despite being named as a “top priority suspect”, Cregan was on the run for five more weeks before handing himself in to police on Tuesday.

Four men have been charged in connection with Mark Short’s murder and will enter pleas at Manchester Crown Court in November.

A 33-year-old man and a 24-year-old man have been charged with the gun and grenade murder of David Short.