150 armed officers swarm court where one-eyed Dale Cregan faces trial
Murder defendant Cregan is in the dock at Preston accused of the murder of two police officers, one of them PC Fiona Bone studied Audio Visual Media and Film Studies in Preston between 1999 and 2002.
The 32-year-old, who was one of two unarmed women police officers killed in a gun and grenade attack in Greater Manchester, studied at UCLan for three years until graduating in 2002.
Dale Cregan reportedly wore a black onyx in his left eye socket and chatted to other defendants when arriving at Preston Crown Court.
Outside the court building one hundred and fifty police officers patrol, most on armed duty.
Cregan is also accused of the murders of David Short and his son, Mark before the alleged killing of police officers Nicola Hughes and Bone last September.
Also in court alongside Cregan for one of the biggest trials Preston Crown Court has ever seen are Leon Atkinson, Damian Gorman, Luke Livesey, Ryan Hadfield, Matthew James, Francis Dixon, Anthony Wilkinson, Jermaine Ward and Mohammed Ali variously charged with counts or murder, attempted murder, causing an explosion, possession of a firearm and assisting an offender.
I’ve never seen so many police officers around the court and on the nearby streets. And a lot are heavily armed. Quite a shock to walk by them holding their semi-automatics seemingly half-cocked and ready for action.
There are helicopters buzzing overhead and armed look-outs on the rooftops. Things get really hectic when the defendants arrive and leave court each day by motor convoy from Manchester where they are being held in custody.
This is really something to witness close-up. It is going to continue for a minimum of about three months so Preston better get used to it.