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Trial to Begin in Slaying of Two UK Police Officers

One-eyed Dale Cregan will go on trial today accused of the murder of two police officers.

Cregan, 29, is also charged with the murder of father and son David and Mark Short in the months before killing policewomen Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32 in a gun and grenade attack.

Cregan will appear in the dock alongside nine other defendants at Court 1 at Preston Crown Court amid high security.

His co-defendants are variously charged with helping or taking part in one of the four murders, firearms offences or assisting an offender.

All 10 will go before a jury trial, having previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Pc Hughes and Bone were murdered as they responded to a report of a burglary on the morning of September 18 last year, in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

Four months earlier, former amateur boxer Mark Short was gunned down at the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Manchester, on the evening of May 25.

His 46-year-old father was found dead on August 10 following a blast at a house in nearby Clayton.

Cregan along with Leon Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne; Luke Livesey, 27, from Hattersley; Damian Gorman, 38, from Glossop; Ryan Hadfield, 28, from Droylsden; and Matthew James, 33, from Clayton, are all accused of the murder of Mark Short and the attempted murder of three others in the pub at the time; John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.

Accused of the murder of David Short are Cregan, Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, Anthony Wilkinson, 38, from Manchester and Jermaine Ward, 24. All four are also jointly accused of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark on the same day and a single charge of causing an explosion.

Wilkinson is additionally charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and Mohammed Ali, 32, from Chadderton, Greater Manchester is accused of assisting an offender.

Cregan alone is charged with the murder of the two police officers.

The trial, presided over by Mr Justice Holroyde, is scheduled to start later today.

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