Hattersley, near Hyde in Tameside, Greater Manchester. Famous for the Moors Murderers, the doctor of death, Harold Shipman and now the cold blooded execution of two unarmed women police constables by a career criminal already wanted for two other murders this year and on the run. Is there something about this place perhaps? By some strange and macabre coincidence, Hattersley lies just beyond the hill on the left in my current header image above this article.
It seems that the murderer, Dale Cregan, was not a current resident of this tainted estate, he was hiding out in the area. Although it remains to be seen how many Hattersley locals have actually been involved in the support and succour of this appalling individual. Comparisons with Raoul Moat are inevitable, it is following the same pattern: steroid stuffed local bully believing himself above the law, aided and abetted by numerous toadying underlings, has to go out in a “blaze of glory”. Already the sickos are out on Facebook, ever the mouthpiece of the underclass: “Cregan for OBE”, “Justice for the 96 not the 2” etc and so on ad nauseam.
A measure of the sickness of our society will be the numbers of people who believe in some warped way that this despicable creature is some sort of folk hero, a Ned Kelly, Butch Cassidy or a Jesse James. Except that there were no heavily armed police or rangers waiting outside the door, just two unsuspecting unarmed women doing their job responding to yet another burglary report, which we now know to be a cruel lure, who this “Big Man” bravely fought off with only an automatic firearm and a grenade.
Cregan, hopefully, will rot in hell or a prison but my personal contempt and disgust I reserve for the scum who harboured him, those that saw him in the last few weeks on the run and did not make that anonymous call to the police for a £50,000 reward. Congratulations you didn’t grass, you can hide behind “I was scared” or felt intimidated. You can also look at your hands and see some of the blood of those two poor young women on them. And for those who argue for and against the death penalty for murders like this, remember that Cregan’s next thought was to drive immediately to a police station to give himself up. Why? Because he knew that there is no death penalty and he could live and not risk being shot by a police marksman in the probable next standoff.