Dale Cregan is an infamous English drug-dealer and murderer, who was convicted of four murders, which he committed within a few months in 2012. Born and raised in Greater Manchester, Dale started selling and consuming marijuana while in high school. He also developed a very unhealthy fetish for knives and other murder weapons, and by the age of 22, he had started selling cocaine on the streets. Dale is also known as ‘One Eye,’ due to his missing left eye. The true cause of the injury remains unknown to date, but Dale maintains that it was the result of a street brawl, but this has not been confirmed from any source. Soon, he got entangled with a few street criminals. In May 2012, he claimed his first victim, Mark Short, and shortly after this, he killed Mark’s father. Later, he killed two police constables; following a long trial, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, in June 2013. He is presently stationed at the ‘HM Prison Full Sutton.’
Childhood & Early Life
Dale Cregan was born on June 6, 1983, in Greater Manchester, to Paul and Anita Marie. He was their middle child. He grew up with an elder brother and a younger sister. Soon after Dale’s sister was born, his father abandoned the family and started living with another woman.
Dale grew up without a father and hated him for leaving them. This hatred further amplified and Dale turned into a very aggressive kid.
Dale attended the ‘Littlemoss High School’ in Droylsden. While he was in high school, Dave started selling drugs to make some extra money. Soon, he started dealing in marijuana.
As a youngster, Dale was a very aggressive kid, which resulted in fistfights with other street hooligans, every now and then. He did not attend college and got into drug trade instead, as it meant easy money.
Dale developed a fetish for knives as soon as he entered adulthood. Now a notorious youngster, he also started developing an interest in large guns. He stayed with his sister in Tenerife for about 18 months, and during that time, he bought guns with the illegal money that he had made, thereby building a collection.
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Career in Drug Trade
As Dale Cregan went deeper into the drug trade, he started making quite a lot of money. By the time he was 22, he had started selling cocaine and made close to 20,000 pounds a week.
He led a lavish life, which was full of holidays in exotic destinations. He booked suites in high-end hotels. He also made frequent visits to Amsterdam, a city highly infamous for its underground weapon market.
In one of those trips, he got his left eye carved out and boasted about it in front of his friends. He said that it was due to a fistfight that occurred in Thailand. The true cause is yet to be determined.
Leading a lavish life, he started a serious romantic relationship with Georgia Merriman. Dale became a father at the age of 24 and the family lived in a grand 3-bedroom apartment in Droylsden. Little did he know that he was entering the territory of David Short, the notorious gangster.
David Short was a highly feared and infamous criminal. Dale’s grand lifestyle caught his eye soon after Dale moved in the locality. The inevitable feud started brewing and it resulted in a ruthless end.
Dale shot David’s son, Mark, on May 25, 2010, at the ‘Cotton Tree’ pub in Droylsden. During the shootout, he had also aimed to kill three other men but they managed to escape. Mark died on the spot. This gave rise to an ugly rivalry between the two outlaws.
David Short privately warned Dale that he would rape Dale’s four-year-old son and would kill him afterward as revenge. This further infused Dale with rage and he constructed a delicate plan to kill David.
On August 10, 2012, Dale shot David nine times to kill him on the spot. After shooting him, Dale threw a hand grenade at David’s body, and it was blown to pieces. The murder was gory and ruthless, as David’s body was found in a highly deformed state.
This incident led to Dale losing his mind, which further had him shooting down two police constables. He made a false emergency call on September 18, 2012, and lured the police into coming down to his place. There, he shot down Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, firing 32 bullets in 31 seconds, and followed the gunshots with grenades. The officers died on the spot.
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This led the police to embark on a highly aggressive manhunt. However, Dale fled immediately. While on the run, he stayed in touch with some of his friends and boasted about the 50-thousand-pound reward on his head.
Even when he was on the run, he enjoyed his life to the fullest. He drank beer, snorted cocaine, and lived in high-end hotels. However, he could not run for a very long time and eventually, in February 2013, turned himself in.
Trial & Life Imprisonment
His trial began on February 4, 2013, and during the initial phases, he was detained at the ‘Manchester’ Prison. His trial finally began, under heavy security, at the ‘Preston Crown Court.’ Helicopters, cars, and bikes accompanied the convoy that escorted him to the court from the prison.
Police snipers were set up in the nearby buildings. This was one of the most high-profile and expensive trials that the country had seen in a very long time. It is estimated that over five million pounds were spent in preventing any untoward incident during the trial.
During his trial, Dale is said to have become conscious about his appearance and asked the prison staff to make him seem more presentable. He requested them to shave his beard and to cut his long hair. He took long baths and wore new clothes to the trials.
Dale underwent two checks every day. These checks were mostly focused on his missing left eye. The police were suspicious and thought something was not right.
The trial concluded eventually, and Dale was convicted of all four murders and three physical assaults. The gruesome nature of the murders that he committed had the court sending him to life imprisonment with a whole-life order. It meant that Dale would be spending the rest of his life behind bars for sure. The final hearing took place on June 13, 2013.
Just a few months after he was imprisoned, Dale embarked on a hunger strike at the ‘HM Prison Full Sutton.’ This led to some serious health issues and police had to transfer him to ‘Ashworth Hospital’ in September 2013.
Following his arrest and life sentence, the underworld of Manchester saw some really gruesome shootouts for a while.