Dale Cregan, in prison for life and apparently now a convert to Christianity, except that his stubborn refusal to apologise to the families of his victims, doesn’t quite square up to any brand of Christian repentance or remorse the general public might recognise. Although I’m certain that given his ‘love for his family’ he mightily regrets the distress and danger his family have become afflicted by as a result of the four murders, including the gun and grenade killing of Nicola, 23, and Fiona, 32, plus three attempted murders.
One of his sisters is considering leaving the country as she and her family are under threat in the UK. Another sister has had her families home trashed and another has had threatening phone calls from some of the acquaintances of his murder victims.
As well as the two police officers, cocaine dealer Cregan also killed gangland rivals Mark Short, 23, and his father David Short, 46.
Mark Short was shot in a pub in Droylsden, east Manchester, as he played pool while his father was shot and finished off with a grenade at his home in nearby Clayton.
Two of his victims, unarmed PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were killed by Cregan after being lured to investigate a hoax burglary. They were simply doing their job whereas Mr Cregan was doing what he chose to do for the sheer sadistic thrill of it. Interestingly, the family members baying for his blood, and threatening the lives of his sisters & their families do not belong to either of these police officer’s families.
Nicola, 23, lived in Diggle, Oldham, with her mother Susan, who said she died “doing the job she loved”.
She had been with Greater Manchester Police for three years. After her death in Mottram, Tameside,on September 18, 2012 Susan said: “We have always been exceedingly proud of Nicola and always will be.
“She wanted to make a difference. She cared about everyone.”
A colleague said: “She was a chatterbox and was always smiling, a lovely friend and a great bobby.”
Fiona, 32, had served with the force for five years, starting out as a special constable.
She lived in Sale with her partner Clare and her five-year-old daughter and was planning a civil partnership. Her family said they had lost “a wonderful daughter, sister, partner and parent”.
Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Sir Peter Fahy described Fiona as a “gentle woman with a great sense of humour”, who was always “calm, collected and professional”.
Funeral services for the officers at Manchester Cathedral brought the city to a standstill pretty much as the hunt for Dale Cregan and his subsequent arrest had. How I wonder, would that manhunt be conducted today? Given the austerity cost cutting measures that are about to be imposed on top of the cost cutting that has already occurred? Cuts have consequences eh?