A Greater Manchester Police led investigation used the help and services of SYTECH to utilise their expertise in Cell-Site Analysis, GPS Forensics and Advanced Phone Forensics including “Chip-Off” for their successful investigation and subsequent convictions.
Dale Cregan will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murders of four people in Manchester.
Cregan, 30, admitted killing father and son David and Mark Short, and the double murder of policewomen Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes last September, and faces the rest of his life in prison.
The ambush of the two officers was the culmination of a crime spree which began with him gunning down Mark Short as he played pool in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden on May 25. His father David had been the target.
Three months after the pub attack, in August 2012, he killed Mark’s father David Short, 46, in a gun and grenade assault at his home in Clayton, also in Greater Manchester.
It ended with Cregan luring two police officers to a house with a false report of a break-in, before gunning them down in cold blood.
The judge, Mr Justice Holroyde QC, said he had “pursued them with a cold blooded determination to end their lives”.
He spoke of the “horror of bodies being disfigured by the exploding of a hand grenade”, adding that the killings were an “act of premeditated savagery”.
He told the defendants that he had seen no hint of real remorse, or compassion for the victims.
Ahead of the sentencing, Michael Lavery, representing Cregan, said he could not make “sensible” submissions in mitigation, given the “exceptionally grave offences” his client had committed and admitted.
Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for the North West, said the killings were “nothing short of executions”.
Police commissioner Tony Lloyd said the case cast a “long, dark shadow” across the city.
Commenting on the murder of two unarmed officers, Greater Manchester chief constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “The British public prize the fact that their police force is routinely unarmed and saw this attack as an attack on all of us.”
On Thursday two other men – Luke Livesey and Damian Gorman – were found guilty of Mark Short‘s murder and the attempted murder of three people at the pub.
They were given life sentences with a minimum term of 33 years.
Jermaine Ward and Anthony Wilkinson were convicted of murdering David Short, and were given life sentences with a minimum term of 33 and 35 years respectively.
Mohammed Imran Ali, found guilty of assisting an offender, was given a seven year prison term.
Cregan was cleared of one remaining attempted murder charge. He smiled and shook hands with the other defendants after the verdicts.
During the trial a barber told the court of his “terror” when Cregan turned up at his home the night before murdering the two police officers.
Alan Whitwell was forced to trim the hair and beard of the double-killer on the run from police, an order given by Cregan so he would look good in court.
It can also now be reported that one of the jurors trying Cregan and the others was dismissed after declaring within days that they were all “as guilty as f***”.
Cregan was subjected to twice-daily checks behind his false eye as part of the intensive security operation surrounding his trial.
He is thought to have lost his eye in a fight with police in Thailand which involved a knuckle-duster.
Around 150 officers – several armed – swamped Preston Crown Court on each day of the trial which started in February as they monitored the complex and surrounding streets.
Two snipers were positioned on the facing roof of a solicitor’s building, while a portable cabin was erected at the entrance to assist in the searching of all visitors.