Manchester shootings: Police arrest boy, 15, at school over PC murders
A TEENAGE boy has been arrested in connection with the murders of two women police officers in Manchester.
• Dale Cregan appeared in court yesterday
• Pc Nicola Hughes and Pc Fiona Bone were killed on Tuesday when responding to a burglary report
Police officers arrested the 15-year-old at school in the Hattersley area yesterday on suspicion of assisting an offender.
He was bailed until Thursday.
The arrest came as Dale Cregan, 29, appeared in court amid heightened security, charged in relation to the officers’ deaths and the murders of a father and son.
PCs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, died from gunshot wounds after being called to a report of a burglary at a house on the Hattersley estate in Tameside on Tuesday.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “This remains a complex and sensitive operation, and we continue to ask the public to search their conscience and urge anyone who has any other information to contact us.”
Cregan appeared before a district judge at Manchester Magistrates’ Court for two minutes yesterday, before being remanded in custody and taken back to Strangeways prison.
The accused, who has one eye, wore a false black onyx eye in his left eye socket and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.
Judge Taaffe then read out the eight charges the defendant faces, including that of murdering the police officers in a gun and grenade attack in Hattersley, Tameside, on Tuesday.
Cregan is also accused of murdering David and Mark Short earlier this year, and four attempted murders.
The proceedings were held amid a ring of steel as officers in high-visibility jackets stood guard on street corners around the city centre building.
Inside the court complex, armed officers wearing dark glasses, black uniforms and carrying Heckler and Koch sub-machine guns stood guard. There were more armed officers outside court number 16, where Cregan appeared after he arrived in a convoy of police vehicles.
He was taken into the secure dock flanked by four police officers.
Cregan, who has a thick beard, scanned the courtroom and stared over at the public gallery, where relatives of the Short family were seated.
Mark Short, 23, died from a gunshot wound to his neck after a gunman entered a pub and opened fire, just before midnight, at the Cotton Tree Inn, in Droylsden, Tameside, on 25 May.
Cregan is also accused of the attempted murders of Michael Belcher, Ryan Pridding and John Short, who were in the pub.
Eleven weeks later, on 10 August, the victim’s father, David Short, 46, died in a mid-morning grenade and gun attack on his home in Clayton, Manchester.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said yesterday: “At 2:30pm today, officers attended a school in the Hattersley area and they arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of assisting an offender. He has been bailed until Thursday, 27 September.”
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