|Conviction(s)||Murder, attempted murder|
|Criminal penalty||Life sentence with a whole life order|
Dale Christopher Cregan (born 6 June 1983) is an English convicted drug-dealer and murderer, sentenced to a whole life order in prison for four counts of murder (including two Greater Manchester police officers) and three separate counts of attempted murder.
Dale Christopher Cregan was born at Tameside General Hospital on 6 June 1983 to Paul Cregan, a tool setter from Manchester and Anita Marie Cregan. He is one of three siblings. His older brother Dean was born two years earlier and a younger sister followed, before his father left the family, eventually marrying a former policewoman with Greater Manchester Police.
Cregan attended the now-defunct Littlemoss High School in Droylsden, where he began dealing cannabis. He reportedly developed a 'bad fetish' for knives. He spent 18 months with his sister in Tenerife. Upon his return, he bought guns, going on to have a collection of around ten weapons including machine guns. By the age of 22, he had begun dealing cocaine, claiming £20,000 a week in profits but always giving his official job as a "plasterer".
Cregan is known as "One Eye" due to his missing left eye, which is believed to have been carved out with a knife under circumstances unknown, although he has told friends it was the result of a brawl while in Thailand. During his 17-week trial, Cregan had to take out his false eye as he left and returned from court to ensure officers could check he was not hiding anything in the empty socket.
Murders and subsequent convictions
On 25 May 2012, Cregan shot dead Mark Short, 23, in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Greater Manchester. In the same incident, he tried to kill three other men. On 10 August, he killed Mark Short's father, 46-year-old David Short, at his house in Clayton, Manchester by shooting him nine times with a Glock pistol and then throwing an M75 hand grenade onto him, blowing his body apart and killing him instantly.
On 18 September 2012, Cregan made a hoax emergency call to the police. Police Constables Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, Greater Manchester Police officers, were mobilised to Cregan's call in Hattersley. He lured the officers by claiming there had been an incident of criminal damage at his house. When they arrived, he ambushed the unarmed officers, shooting them and throwing an M75 hand grenade at them. Both officers were hit by at least eight bullets as Cregan fired 32 shots in 31 seconds. PC Bone died at the scene, and PC Hughes died shortly after reaching hospital. Cregan later turned himself in at a local police station, admitting to killing Hughes and Bone. He was charged with these murders, and, soon afterward, was also charged with the murders of Mark and David Short.
Trial and aftermath
During his trial, which began on 4 February 2013, Cregan was detained at Manchester Prison. The trial was held at Preston Crown Court, where scaffolding was erected to accommodate armed officers. Police snipers watched over the building from nearby offices. The daily convoy, carrying Cregan between Manchester and Preston, included two prison vans, police cars, motorcycle outriders and a helicopter. In total, 120 Greater Manchester Police officers were deployed daily. The total cost of the trial was in excess of £5 million. Some argued that the costs would have been far less had Cregan been imprisoned in Preston.
Cregan was convicted of all four murders and of three attempted murders, altogether, but found not guilty of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order on 13 June 2013.
In August 2013 it was reported that Cregan was on hunger strike at HM Prison Full Sutton. He was moved to Ashworth Hospital in September 2013. He was transferred back to Manchester in March 2018 from Ashworth where it was reported he had boasted about his workout regime and access to snooker and tennis.
- "Dale Cregan's grenades stashed in Oldham drain". Bbc.co.uk. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Police killer Cregan jailed for life". BBC News. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Rayner, Gordon (13 June 2013). "Dale Cregan: How pub fight over football led to murder of two policewomen". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
- Ensor, Josie (13 June 2013). "Dale Cregan: father of murdered WPc says he should hang". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Dale Cregan's Lancashire trial cost £5m". Lancashire Evening Post. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Dale Cregan Cleared Of Attempted Murder". HuffPost UK. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Police killer Cregan in 'hunger strike' protest". BBC News. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "Police killer Dale Cregan moved to secure Ashworth Hospital". BBC News. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Thomas, Joe (26 March 2018). "Police killer Dale Cregan removed from Merseyside psychiatric hospital". Retrieved 4 May 2018.