Police murders accused sent for trial amid huge security

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A HUGE security operation was mounted yesterday as one-eyed Dale Cregan appeared in court accused of four murders, including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

Officers with machine guns surrounded Manchester Magistrates’ Court as Cregan, 29, arrived in a police convoy for the two-minute hearing in which he was asked to confirm his name and date of birth.

PCs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, died in Hattersley, Tameside, on Tuesday morning. Cregan also faced charges of murdering father and son David and Mark Short and four attempted murders.

He was taken to the secure dock flanked by four police officers, while two more dressed in military-style fatigues and armed with machine guns stood outside. During the hearing, Cregan stared at the public gallery where relatives of the Short family were seated, before he was committed to appear at Manchester Crown Court on Monday.

Prime Minister David Cameron met relatives of the two PCs at the Greater Manchester Police headquarters. A 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder over the deaths of the officers has been released without charge.