Cregan forensic investigators scoop national award
Team of three given the Innovation in Forensics accolade for complex analysis of phone data to secure two life sentences.
A team of forensic investigators whose complex analysis of hundreds of phone records helped secure two life sentences for murderer Dale Cregan have received a national award.
The two Greater Manchester Police detective constables and member of police staff were handed the Innovation in Forensics accolade as part of The Investigator Excellence in Investigations Awards.
DC Stuart Kay, DC Sandra Parry (both pictured centre) and Elaine Robinson were responsible for processing more than 3,000 pages of mobile phone records and data ahead of the trial of Cregan and nine others for the murders of Mark Short and his father David Short in Manchester in 2012.
Mark Short was fatally shot in a pub in May 2012 while his father was killed in August in a gun and grenade attack at his home.
During the investigation it emerged that Cregan had recruited differing gangs of associates to assist in each staged attack. This exemplified the complexity of the communications analysis and data management that would determine those involved and their level of co-operation either in assisting Cregan directly in each murder or in his attempts to evade capture.
Their evidence was presented to the jury at Preston Crown Court in 2013 over several days and detailed the telecommunications traffic, which prosecutors said proved the links between Cregan and other who assisted in the killings of both men.
This evidence was only a fraction of the data that the team painstakingly collected, analysed and managed.
Cregan was given two life sentences for both of their murders. He was also given two life sentences for the murders of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, who were killed in a gun and grenade attack in September 2012.
The team were presented with their award at the West Midlands Police Conference Centre in Birmingham.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: “This was a particularly difficult case to work on given the circumstances and the team worked tirelessly to ensure a successful outcome, not only for the families involved but also their colleagues.
“I am delighted that this commitment, dedication and diligence has been recognised with this award and I applaud the team on the professionalism shown during one of the most challenging times the force has ever experienced.”
Nine awards were handed out to police forces for successful crime investigation cases. The cases resulted in more than 500 years in prison sentences.