Dale Cregan trial: Guilty verdicts in trial of police killer and others

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Media captionLive: BBC News coverage of the sentencing in the Dale Cregan trial

Double police killer Dale Cregan has been cleared of a final charge of attempted murder at the conclusion of a 18-week trial involving nine other men.

Earlier in the trial at Preston Crown Court, Cregan admitted killing Greater Manchester PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in a gun and grenade attack.

Later on in proceedings he also pleaded guilty to killing father and son David and Mark Short.

Three other men were convicted over the murders of the Shorts.

Luke Livesey, 28, and Damian Gorman, 38, were found guilty of their part in the murder of Mark Short in a shooting at the Cotton Tree Inn, Droylsden, in May 2012 as well as the attempted murder of three others in the same attack.

Jermaine Ward, 24, was convicted of killing David Short at his Clayton home in August.

'Calling card'

Cregan, Livesey and Gorman murdered Mark Short following a decade-long feud between two local families, the court heard.

Fearful of retaliation attacks by the Short family, Cregan then planned the killing of his father David in a gun and grenade attack, the jury was told.

Image caption PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes were killed on 18 September

Cregan was cleared of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark, although he was found guilty of a grenade attack on her home minutes after David Short was killed.

The double murderer then went on the run for weeks before luring the two PCs to their deaths with a fake report of a burglary in Abbey Gardens, Mottram, on 28 September.

He handed himself in to police immediately after killing the officers, a crime in which he again used his "calling card" grenades.

Following the trial, PC Bone's father Paul said the killings were "unreal - the level of callousness is beyond my comprehension".

'Scourge on society'

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: "All four of these murders were planned assassinations, meticulously calculated by their perpetrators.

"Those responsible for the murders of Fiona, Nicola, Mark and David Short are established criminals who are a scourge on our society.

Image caption Six men face jail over their part in the murders of Mark and David Short

"These men, and others like them, make themselves out to be 'Mr Bigs', glamorising themselves as some kind of folk heroes who rule through violence, intimidation and reputation.

"But in reality they spend their miserable lives looking over their shoulders to see who is coming after them and their families."

Anthony Wilkinson, 34, had previously admitted his part in the murder of Mark Short's father, although he was cleared of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark.

He was also found guilty of possessing a gun with intent to endanger life.

Francis Dixon was cleared over the killing of David Short and all other charges.

Leon Atkinson, 35, Ryan Hadfield, 29, and Matthew James, 33, were cleared of all charges including any involvement in Mark Short's murder and the attempted murders at the Cotton Tree Inn.

Mohammed Imran Ali, 32, was found guilty of assisting an offender by taking Cregan, Wilkinson and Ward to hide out in Yorkshire knowing they had murdered David Short.

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