A Bradford man is among five people who have gone on trial accused of helping murderer Dale Cregan and his accomplices stay at large during his killing spree in Manchester.
Raj Mohammed Khan, 44, of Clifford Close, Bolton, Bradford, Patricia Kelly, 55, of St Kilda’s Avenue, Droylsden, Jack Willbye, 66, of Herne Bay, Kent, Sam Willbye, 28, of Durham, and Marvin Herbert, 42, of Estepona, Spain, deny conspiracy to assist an offender, Manchester Crown Court was told yesterday.
Its alleged that phone evidence links them to a conspiracy to help Cregan and his accomplices Anthony Wilkinson and Jermaine Ward, flee the city in the aftermath of the August 10, 2012, murder of David Short.
Cregan remained on the run until after he murdered police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in Manchester a month later, the court heard.
The jury has been told that Mr Short was pursued through his home on Folkestone Road East, Droylsden, ‘repeatedly shot and then blown up with a hand grenade’ by Cregan and his associates.
Opening the case against those accused of helping the trio in the aftermath, Nicholas Clarke QC, prosecuting, said: “This was the first time in this country that military fragmentation grenades had been used in this way and so the killers anticipated that the police response would be even more intensive and robust.
“They needed to get out of their getaway car, and away from the Greater Manchester area.”
Mr Clarke said the murder of David Short was widely reported, with Cregan publicly named as ‘wanted’, footage of the attack released, and a reward for information leading to capture.
But Ward remained at large until August 23, Wilkinson until September 2, with Cregan finally arrested on September 18. During their time on the run the trio travelled to West Yorkshire and Herne Bay, Kent, allegedly with the five defendants’ help.
Mr Clarke added: “It’s the prosecution’s case that each of these five defendants played a part in assisting the three offenders while they were at large... despite a widespread and costly manhunt.”
The trial continues.