Court hears Cregan deny murder of two officers

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A MAN has appeared in court accused of murdering two women police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

Police constables Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, were killed on the morning of 18 September as they responded to a report of a burglary in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

Dale Cregan, 29, has previously pleaded not guilty to murdering the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers and the murders of Mark Short, 23, in Manchester last May and his father David almost three months later.

Amateur boxer Mr Short was gunned down at the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Manchester, on 25 May and his 46-year-old father was found dead on 10 August following a blast at a house in nearby Clayton.

Cregan, of no fixed address, appeared by video-link with nine co-defendants at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday.

During the hearing, three defendants were asked to enter their pleas.

Matthew James, 33, from Clayton, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murders of John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher, who were also in the Cotton Tree pub on the night of the shooting.

Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Short, the attempted murder of Sharon Hark and one count of causing an explosion with a hand grenade.

Mohammed Ali, 23, from Chadderton, denied assisting an offender.

The remaining defendants, Luke Livesey, 27, Damien Gorman, 37, Ryan Hadfield, 28, Leon Atkinson, 35, Anthony Wilkinson, 33, and Jermaine Ward, 24, entered not guilty pleas at earlier hearings.

The men were remanded in custody by Mr Justice Holroyde until their trial on 4 February.