Officers' families at murder trial

First published in National News © by

The family and loved ones of two police officers shot and killed in Manchester have arrived at court amid high security.

Pc Nicola Hughes and Pc Fiona Bone were killed in a gun and grenade attack last year. Dale Cregan is charged with their murder and his trial is due to start at Preston Crown Court.

The parents of the officers, along with Pc Bone's partner and sister, walked into court together.

Parents Paul and June Bone held hands, as did Pc Bone's partner Clare Curran who walked in with the officer's sister Vicky.

Pc Hughes's parents are separated. Her father Bryn arrived with wife Natalie while Pc Hughes's mother Susan walked in with a police family liaison officer from Greater Manchester Police.

Cregan, 29, is also charged with the murder of father and son David and Mark Short in the months before Pc Hughes, 23, and Pc Bone, 32, were killed.

Cregan will appear in the dock alongside nine other defendants in Court 1 at Preston Crown Court. His co-defendants are variously charged with helping or taking part in one of the four murders or firearm offences or assisting an offender.

All 10 face a jury trial having pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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

Four months earlier former amateur boxer Mark Short was gunned down at the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, on the evening of May 25 last year. His 46-year-old father was found dead on August 10 following a blast at a house in nearby Clayton.

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