21/09/2012 08:50 BST | Updated 21/09/2012 14:34 BST

Dale Cregan To Appear In Court Over Four Murder Charges, Including Killing Of Nicola Hughes And Fiona Bone (PICTURES)

Dale Cregan has appeared in court to face four murder charges, including the killing of two policewomen, Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone.

Cregan, accused of murdering the Greater Manchester police officers in a gun and grenade attack in Hattersley arrived at the city's magistrates' court under heavily-armed guard.

dale cregan court sketch

A court sketch of Cregan appearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court

Cregan sat down as he was brought into the dock but got to his feet after he was asked to stand by District Judge Jonathan Taaffe.

He wore a false black onyx eye in his left eye socket and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth to the courtroom, which was packed with reporters.

dale cregan

Heavily armed police accompanied the convoy holding Cregan

Judge Taaffe then read out the eight charges the defendant faces, including that of murdering the two officers.

Officers surrounded the court building and an armed unit accompanied the convoy of six vehicles which brought him from custody.

As the van which held Cregan entered the court's underground car park, four armed police officer emerged from a 4x4 to guard the gates.

Cregan is also accused of killing Mark Short at the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden, Tameside, on May 25 and his father David in an attack at his home in Clayton, Manchester, on August 10.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that armed police staged a raid at the housing estate in Hattersley two weeks before the two officers were killed there.

dale cregan

The accused entered the court via the car park

A search took place on the morning of August 16 at a house near the murder scene as part of the hunt for Cregan, who was wanted over the deaths of the Shorts. No arrest was made in relation to the August 16 search.

Cregan, 29, also faces four charges of attempted murder, three in relation to the shooting in the Cotton Tree Inn.

Michael Belcher, Ryan Pridding and John Short suffered leg and back injuries when an armed assailant wearing a balaclava entered the pub and shot them.

David Short, 46, was found at his home in Folkestone Road East after police were called there following reports of gunshots. A hand grenade was also used in that attack.

Less than 10 minutes later, there was another grenade explosion outside a house in Luke Road in Droylsden. No-one was injured in that incident.

greater manchester police

Police lay flowers at the scene where two female officers were killed in Manchester

The fourth attempted murder charge relates to the incidents that day. Cregan is accused of trying to murder Sharon Hark.

Greater Manchester Police have been given more time to question a 28-year-old man, named by sources as Stephen Garvey, who has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder in relation to Pc Bone and Pc Hughes. This is due to expire at 9.15am tomorrow.

Following the deaths of the officers the Greater Manchester force has received over 30,000 messages on its online book of condolence, more than 20,000 have been posted on the force's Facebook page and more than 1.3 million people have viewed the tribute to the officers on Facebook.

Police from across the country have also offered to provide cover so officers can attend the funerals of Pcs Bone and Hughes.

A 22-year-old, from Netherley, Merseyside, was bailed last night after he was arrested on Wednesday for setting up a Facebook page lauding Cregan as a "legend".