Man from Herne Bay and his son charged with assisting cop killer Dale Cregan while he was on the run from Greater Manchester Police
A man from Herne Bay and his son have appeared in court accused of helping cop killer Dale Cregan while he was on the run from police.
Jack Willbye, 57, of Chapel Street, and Samuel Willbye, 28, from Manchester, face charges of conspiring to assist an offender.
They are accused of helping Cregan during August 10 and September 17 last year when he was wanted by Greater Manchester Police for the gangland murders of Mark Short and his father David Short.
The house on Chapel Street, Herne Bay, which was raided by officers from Greater Manchester Police
On September 18 Cregan gunned down police officers Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32.
The day before he had taken a 270-mile taxi ride from Herne Bay to Birmingham, before travelling to Manchester later that night.
He used Herne Bay firm Abacus Cars to make his journey north, paying £200 in cash for the £190 fare.
He originally asked to go to Gatwick, but then changed his mind.
Less than 24 hours later, Cregan murdered the two unarmed police officers in a gun and grenade attack after they responded to a hoax report of a burglary.
Jack Willbye’s Herne Bay house was raided by police involved in the investigation in March, just three months before Cregan was jailed for life after he was convicted of all four murders.
Forensics officers were seen going in and out of the property for three days, with vans, police cars and dog teams spotted outside.
Allan Woods, landlord of the Rodneys Sports Bar in North Street, which overlooks the address, said: "Plain clothed CID officers came in and asked if we have CCTV.
"They went upstairs, had a look and took a copy of certain bits.
"I asked if it was about a murder in the town and he said it was a national story, a lot bigger, and showed me a Manchester Police warrant.
“The next thing I knew, three or four forensic vans pulled up in the car park and were going into this house on Chapel Street.
"They were in and out all day and had someone there all night outside."
Allan Woods, landlord of the Rodneys Sports Bar in North Street, which overlooks the property searched by police
The charges faced by the Willbyes also relate to helping two of Cregan's co-defendants, Anthony Wilkinson and Jermaine Ward, who were convicted of murdering David Short.
Manchester magistrates yesterday remanded the father and son in custody until September 25, when they are due to appear at Manchester Crown Court.
Another man, aged 41 and from London, was arrested today by police in Spain, working in conjunction with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), on suspicion of conspiracy to assist an offender.
The man was arrested in the Costa del Sol area and extradition proceedings are now in place for the man to be brought back to the UK.
This arrest is also in connection with the period between August 10 and September 17 last year.
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