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Dale Cregan, who spent time in Herne Bay before murdering two police officers, is jailed for life

Dale Cregan, who was in Herne Bay days before he murdered two female police officers.
Dale Cregan, who was in Herne Bay days before he murdered two female police officers.

Cop killer Dale Cregan was in Herne Bay days before shooting two female officers, it has been revealed.

Cregan, 29, who was jailed for life this afternoon, admitted killing Hyde-based PC Nicola Hughes, 23, from Saddleworth, and PC Fiona Bone, 32, from Sale.

Less than a day earlier, he had taken a 270-mile taxi ride from Herne Bay to Birmingham, before travelling to Manchester later that night.

Cregan, of no fixed address, 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, possibly when he realised there were no immediate flights to Manchester.

Less than 24 hours later, he would murder the two unarmed police officers in a gun and grenade attack after they responded to a report of a burglary.

Last month he changed his plea to guilty in his trial for the murder of Mark Short, 23, in a Droylsden pub in May last year — then shooting the amateur boxer’s dad David, 46, at his Clayton home in August.

The jury was told by his own barrister: “He will die in prison.”

He added: “When he sets out to kill, he kills.”

At the lengthy trial in Preston Crown Court, two others – Luke Livesey, 27, from Hattersley, and Damian Gorman, 37, from Glossop – were today also found guilty of murdering Mark Short.Three others were cleared.

Three people – John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher – were injured in the burst of gunfire at the Cotton Tree pub.

Gorman and Livesey were also found guilty of the attempted murder of the trio, while three others were cleared.

Jermaine Ward, 24, was today found guilty of the murder of David Short, while another man was cleared. Anthony Wilkinson, 33, from Beswick, had already pleaded guilty during the trial to murdering Short.

He was found not guilty of attempted murder of Mrs Hark and causing an explosion with a hand grenade.

A total of three men were found not guilty of causing an explosion, while Mohammed Imran Ali, 23, from Chadderton, was found guilty of assisting an offender.

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