Cregan given whole life sentence

Dale Cregan has been given a whole life sentence for the murders of two female police officers and a father and son. He was cleared of a final count of attempted murder involving a grenade attack on his neighbour.

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Couple describe being taken hostage by Dale Cregan

A couple have described how they were held hostage by killer Dale Cregan who threatened them with a grenade.

Cregan was given a whole life prison term yesterday for the murders of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone and father and son David and Mark Short.

Alan Whitwell told the Sun that Cregan knocked at the home he shared with his girlfriend, the night before his attack on the two policewomen.

After brushing past him as he opened the door, "He put a grenade on the fireplace and said, ‘Do what I say and you won’t get hurt’”, the barber said.

Dale Cregan has been sentenced to a whole life term. Credit: Police handout

"He is a lunatic, a ticking timebomb. I was sh***ing myself that we were going to die, Mr Whitwell said.

Lisa Mcintosh said: “I knew he was wanted by the police. I was frozen with fear.”

After demanding a haircut from him among other things, the next day the barber witnessed Cregan's deadly attack:

"I saw the gun in his hand and he mumbled something about the police. “I heard the front door open and then just heard ‘Bam!’

"It just shook me -I froze. The shots seemed to go on for ever".

The couple are currently still receiving counselling for post-traumatic stress.

Cregan trial: Prison van crash victims to claim

Convicted killers in the Dale Cregan trial are to make claims for whiplash injuries over a prison van accident as they were taken to court, prison sources have said.

Damian Gorman - who was convicted of one count of murder and three of attempted murder - is among those in line for compensation if he is successful in claims for personal injury and "hurt feelings".

A number of prison staff are also understood to be in the process of claiming.

Dale Cregan is not making a claim as he was not injured in the collision.

The collision involved two prison vans taking defendants from HMP Manchester to Preston Crown Court on 24 May.

It was the second time in eight days that vans containing the defendants were involved in a crash.

After the accident Greater Manchester Police said four prison officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment and that one prisoner was injured.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "We robustly defend all cases as far as the evidence allows."

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Cregan juror ejected after declaring 'they're all guilty'

One of the jurors trying Dale Cregan and his gang was dismissed after declaring within days that they were all guilty, it can now be reported.

Only three days of evidence in the prosecution case had been heard before the man was discharged.

A fellow juror passed a note to a usher which read: "As a member of the jury, I am beginning to feel uncomfortable about a juror.

"I feel it is a massive responsibility that the correct verdicts are reached.

"We have one member who has the opinion that they are 'all guilty as f---' and "we don't have to listen all day to this s---."

"I am sure this is not the correct attitude ... I want all 10 (defendants) to have a fair trial."

Trial judge Mr Justice Holroyde decided to eject the juror in the interests of justice and ordered him not to return to court while the proceedings were going on.

Cregan's eye socket searched twice-a-day during trial

Dale Cregan was subjected to twice-daily checks behind his false eye as part of the intensive security operation surrounding his trial.

Nothing was left to chance for the ring of steel thrown around Preston Crown Court which cost more than £5 million.

Dale Cregan has been jailed for a whole life term. Credit: Police Handout.

All Category A inmates transported to court need to undergo a strip search and in Cregan's case that included his left eye socket - a time-consuming extra check which is said to have annoyed the killer.

A source at HMP Manchester, better known as Strangeways, said: "Every time he comes in and every time he goes out of the building he must be searched and checked - including behind his eye.

"Because he is a category A prisoner, each time he leaves these walls he is strip searched and he must take his eye out so we can look behind it for drugs or some sort of weapon or anything he shouldn't have.

"And every time he comes back from court he gets strip searched again and he has to take his eye out again."

Cregan is thought to have lost his eye in a fight with police in Thailand which involved a knuckle-duster.

Sue Hughes: 'Life barely worth living without' Nicola

The mother of Nicola Hughes has described her "devastation" following her death. In a statement released following the sentencing of Dale Cregan, Sue Hughes said:

He chose on that day to murder our daughter and leave our lives completely devastated, a life barely worth living without her.

Now the trial has concluded, he will return to his cell to live the rest of his natural life.

We, however, will live with what he did every single hour of every single day for the rest of our lives.

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Tributes to Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes

The faces of Nicola Hughes and and Fiona Bone are now etched on the memories of a whole city and a whole country. But to many, they are far more than just victims of Dale Cregan. On the day they died there were those who lost a daughter, a sister, a partner, a friend.

Our correspondent Rachel Townsend has been hearing their stories of sorrow and anger, but now, also, hope.

Family of Nicola Hughes 'shattered' by her death

Bryn Hughes, father of Nicola Hughes, reading a statement outside Preston Crown Court
Bryn Hughes, father of Nicola Hughes, reading a statement outside Preston Crown Court Credit: Press Association

The father of Nicola Hughes spoke of how the family was "ripped apart" by her death. Speaking outside Preston Crown Court Bryn Hughes said:

"We can only imagine what thought and feelings in those few seconds it took for this person to pull the trigger and for Nicola to draw her last breath.

Our lives have been shattered and will never be the same again."

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