Dale Cregan admits killing four but denies attempted murder

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One-eyed police killer Dale Cregan has admitted he murdered four people and attempted to murder three others.

In week 17 of his trial, he admitted taking the lives of father and son David Short, 46, and Mark Short, 23, yesterday, having changed his pleas to guilty to killing policewomen Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, in the second week.

He also changed his pleas to guilty to attempting to murder three other men as he gunned down Mark Short in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, last May but remains on trial as he continues to deny one remaining count of attempted murder.

His barrister, Simon Csoka QC, told the jury at Preston Crown Court Cregan should be cleared of that charge because when he “sets out to kill, he kills”.

Mr Csoka added: “When he set out to kill Mark Short, he killed him. When he set out to kill David Short, he killed him. When he set out to kill the police officers, he did. There was never any danger of him failing to carry out those murderous objectives.”

Cregan lured the unarmed police constables with a bogus emergency call to a house in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, before using a Glock handgun and a military grenade to kill them on September 18 last year.

The murder of David Short at his home in Clayton, Greater Manchester, the previous month was done in a similar manner.

He threw a grenade at a property in Droylsden shortly afterwards but he did not intend to murder the householder Sharon Hark, said his barrister. Cregan, 29, had offered no explanation for that attack in Luke Road, Droylsden, but Mr Csoka said he could not have known who was inside because the blinds were closed at the front of the property.