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Cregan 'lured PCs to their deaths'
One-eyed fugitive Dale Cregan lured unarmed police officers to him as he lay in wait before shooting them repeatedly and then throwing a grenade at them, a court has heard.
Cregan, 29, wearing a false left eye made of black onyx, had evaded a nationwide manhunt when he set the trap, Preston Crown Court heard.
Cregan is accused of the murders of David Short, 46, and his son, Mark, 23, in the months before allegedly killing Pcs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, in a gun and grenade attack on September 18 last year.
Pc Hughes's mother Susan and father Bryn sat in front of the parents of her murdered colleague, Paul and June Bone and Miss Bone's partner Clare Curran, in the public gallery, raised above the dock and across the packed courtroom from where Cregan sat in the dock.
Stern-faced, they listened intently as Nicholas Clarke QC began to outline the case for the prosecution. He told the jury that after killing the father and son, Cregan was still on the loose despite the hunt to track him down.
"On the 18th September 2012 he called in a spurious burglary at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley, luring two unarmed police officers to investigate," Mr Clarke said.
"He lay in wait with a Glock firearm with an extended magazine that was fully loaded. Pc Fiona Bone and Pc Nicola Hughes attended. As soon as they arrived Cregan shot the officers repeatedly, until his magazine was empty. As he left the scene he again threw a grenade towards the victims."
Mr Clarke began by telling the jury that Mark Short was shot at the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Manchester, on May 25 last year. He said: "At the time that his son Mark was shot, David Short, the head of the Short family, was using the toilet. Otherwise he himself would have been a target. His son died in his arms."
After Mr Short was buried at Droylsden cemetery, his father went on a daily basis to his grave to grieve, the jury were told. But on the morning of August 10 he was at home - when his killers came calling.
Mr Clarke continued: "He was chased through the house and shot many times. He tried to run around the side of the house to escape. His injuries were already unsurvivable and then a grenade was thrown onto him. Its explosion had devastating consequences for his torso. It is the first time in this country that a military grenade has been deployed in this way."