Tag Archives: Preston Crown Court

Digital Forensic Services provided by SYTECH to Greater Manchester Police – Assist in the Convictions of Dale Cregan & Others

Digital Forensic Services provided by SYTECH Assist in the Convictions of Dale Cregan & Others


On Thursday 13th June 2013 at Preston Crown Court, Dale CREGAN, Anthony WILKINSON, Luke LIVESY, Damien GORMAN and Jermaine WARD were all found guilty of their respective involvement in the brutal murders of father and son Dave and Mark Short during separate incidents in the Manchester area in 2012.  A further offender, Mohammad Ali was also convicted for his part in assisting CREGAN and others.


The scale of the investigation against Dale CREGAN, who also claimed the lives of serving Manchester Police Officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, was both voluminous and complex. The investigations involved a much larger number of other suspects and witnesses that added to the overall enormity of the task


Throughout, SYTECH assisted Greater Manchester Police with Telecommunications (Cell-Site Analysis & ‘Chip-off’ handset examinations) and Digital Data (Sat-Nav and Computer) investigations, analytics and ultimately the presentation of vital evidence during the trial proceedings. Sytech’s specialist consultants (Simon Lang and Daren Greener) provided courtroom testimony on four separate occasions during the 18 week trial at Preston Crown Court


In respect of the individual murders of David (Snr) and Mark (Jnr) Short, CREGAN had recruited differing associates to assist in each staged attack.  This again extended the complexity of the required communications analysis and data management that would ultimately determine those involved and their level of co-operation either in assisting CREGAN directly in each murder or in his protracted attempts to evade capture.


SYTECH assisted GMP with several lines of enquiry including the following items:

  • Affirming the attribution of mobile phones to suspects/defendants and identifying the transfer of particular mobile phone devices between those individuals.
  • Using mobile phone evidence to prove the level of association between suspects and defendants.
  • Comprehensive application of Cell-Site-Analysis for the historic tracking and assessment of movement, location and convergence of individuals over several months.
  • Discovering the movement of other family member’s pre and post incidents fearing retribution, which demonstrated the premeditated and organised nature of the killings of Mark and David Short.
  • Demonstrating the relevance and uniqueness in the periods of radio silence around the time of incidents.
  • Extensive recovery and detailed analysis of GPS data to show precise movements of individuals who assisted CREGAN


The jury at Preston Crown Court heard hours of evidence over several days relating to the collated telecommunications traffic, which prosecutors say proved the links between CREGAN and others who assisted in the pub shooting of Mark Short, and the shooting and grenade attack of David Short in his home.


The evidence aired in court, was only a fraction of the data painstakingly collected, analysed and managed by SYTECH in close partnership with Greater Manchester Police.

Dale Cregan trial: One-eyed defendant’s phone sited in Droylsden shortly after Cotton Tree murder of Mark Short

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TRIAL: Dale Cregan, 29

Dale Cregan’s mobile phone records show him to have been in Droylsden less than two hours after Mark Short was gunned down at the Cotton Tree pub, Preston Crown Court was told today.

Cell-site analysis showed Cregan’s phone travelled from Mottram, where Cregan later murdered PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, to Droylsden between 1.47am and 5.03am on May 26, hours after Mr Short’s death.

Matthew James, who – along with Ryan Hadfield – the Crown allege acted as a ‘spotter’ for Mr Short’s killers, was cell-sited in the area of the Cotton Tree between 2.55pm and 9.33pm.

Nicholas Clarke QC, for the prosecution, made it plain that cell-site analysis proves the locations of the phones, but not conclusively that of the individuals.

Cregan, 29, of no fixed address, is charged with the murder of Mr Short, along with James, 22, from Clayton, Luke Livesey, 27, from Hattersley, Hadfield, 28, from Droylsden, Damian Gorman, 38, from Glossop, and Leon Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne.

All six co-accused are pleading not guilty to the charge of murdering Mark Short, as well as the attempted murder of John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.

The jury heard there was no activity on Cregan’s phone, as well as co-defendants Gorman’s and Livesey’s, around the time of Mr Short’s death.

Mr Short was shot dead just before midnight on May 25, and all three men’s phones were inactive between 11.10pm and 1.25am on May 26.

The phones had been in regular contact with each other, mutual friends and the other three men accused of the murder throughout the day.

Darren Geener (sic) Daren Greener – SYTECH, Systems Technology Consultants Ltd, a forensic communications consultant, presented the court with a detailed cell-site analysis of the phones registered to all six men accused of killing Mr Short.

Cregan, Livesey and Gorman were all cell-sited as having been in the vicinity of the Organ pub in Stalybridge during the afternoon of May 25.

Cregan’s phone received a call from James’ while at The Organ pub during the afternoon. James’s phone made another call to Cregan’s, again from the Cotton Tree area, at 9.53pm, before his phone was tracked as moving towards his home in Clayton.

James deactivated his phone the day after Mr Short’s murder and procured a new one on May 28, the jury were told.

A taxi driver told the court earlier in the week that he took three men from The Organ to Droylsden, picking up a fourth man from the New Inn, Hollingworth, which cell-site analysis suggests was Hadfield as he received a call there at 10.17pm.

Mr Geener told the court the movement of Gorman’s and Livesey’s phones were indicative of them having taken this journey.

However, analysis showed Cregan’s phone did not make this journey, according to Mr Geener, and instead travelled back to Hollingworth. However he pointed out that this does not prove Cregan did not make the journey, only that his phone, which was used throughout the day, did not.

Atkinson, who the Crown allege arranged the hit on Mr Short, had his phone cell-sited as travelling between his Squires Lane home to Prestatyn in North Wales between 6.12pm and 10.21pm on May 25.

The Crown are accusing him of going to Prestatyn to give himself an alibi for Mr Short’s death and his phone was in regular contact with his co-defendants’ during the day.

The first witness of the day, Elaine Robinson, a phone call data analyst for Greater Manchester Police, told the court Atkinson’s phone had been in contact with his mother Theresa’s on May 13.

Raymond Young, a member of the Short family, hit Mrs Atkinson in the Cotton Tree on May 13 after an argument, which she reacted to by saying the Shorts were ‘all dead’, the court was told last week by Mr Short’s mother Michelle Kelly.

Phone records showed Mrs Atkinson to have rung her sons Leon, Frankie Jnr and Jordan soon after this alleged incident.

The following morning, Atkinson’s phone called Cregan’s, and Cregan seems to have quickly contacted the phones of Livesey, James and Gorman, who was in Spain at the time.

Atkinson’s phone was then contacted by a phone belonging to Mr Young – with the call lasting over seven minutes – before the phones of Atkinson and Cregan came into contact again.

Cregan is also charged with the murder of Mr Short’s father, David, in a gun and grenade attack, alongside Francis Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge, Anthony Wilkinson, 38, from Manchester, and Jermaine Ward, 24.

All four are charged with the attempted murder of Sharon Hark on the same day, August 11, and a single charge of causing an explosion.

Cregan has already pleaded guilty to the murders of PC Bone, 32 and PC Hughes, 23, on September 18.

The trial continues.

Dale Cregan trial: One-eyed defendant’s phone sited in Droylsden shortly after Cotton Tree murder of Mark Short | Mancunian Matters.