Dale Cregan has admitted murdering police officers Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in a gun and grenade attack in Greater Manchester last year.

Cregan, 29, changed his not guilty plea to guilty on the fourth day of his murder trial at Preston Crown Court.

The judge asked the foreman of the jury to formally record the guilty verdicts for the murders following the defendant's admission.

He stood in the dock and pleaded guilty first to the murder of PC Bone and then to the murder of PC Hughes.

Cregan still denies murdering Mark Short and his father David. The former was shot dead in the The Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden, Manchester, in May last year.

His father was killed three months later in a gun and grenade attack at his home in Clayton, Greater Manchester.

Cregan had previously admitted to murdering Bone and Hughes at the police station after he handed himself him, the jury heard last week.

He was asked by police if he had a weapon, to which he responded: "I dropped the gun at the scene and I've murdered two police officers.

"You were hounding my family so I took it out on yours.

"Sorry about those two that have been killed. I wish it was men."

Prosecutors, outlining their case against Cregan, told the jury how he had lured the two officers to the property in Hattersley.

Dale Cregan
Cregan has not changed his not guilty plea for the murders of David and Mark Short (GMP)

Nicholas Clarke QC said: "Cregan's carefully laid plan had been successful. He had lured two unarmed officers to his door and he was armed, ready and waiting for them.

"As Nicola and Fiona walked through the small front garden, he opened the front door and immediately fired his Glock.

"As they retreated, more shots were fired. Nicola Hughes was shot just below her armoured vest in the middle of her back causing her to fall forwards, paralysed, on to the path. As she was falling or lying flat on her stomach she was shot three more times.

"Cregan wasn't finished. He turned his attention to PC Hughes and fired three more shots into the back and side of her head. She was shot eight times, causing a total of seven gunshot-related injuries."

Cregan is standing trial with nine other defendants: Luke Livesey, Damien Gorman, Anthony Wilkinson, Jermaine Ward, Matthew James, Ryan Hadfield, Leon Atkinson, Francis Dixon and Mohammed Ali.

Atkinson, 35, from Ashton-under-Lyne; Livesey, 27, from Hattersley; Gorman, 38, from Glossop; Hadfield, 28, from Droylsden and James, 33, from Clayton, are all accused of the murder of Mark Short along with Cregan, as well as the attempted murder of three others (John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher) at the time.

Cregan, Dixon, 37, from Stalybridge; Wilkinson, 38, from Manchester and Ward, 24, are accused of the murder of David Short. All four are also jointly accused of the attempted murder of Sharon Hark on the same day, and a single charge of causing an explosion.

Wilkinson is additionally charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and Ali, 32, from Chadderton, Greater Manchester, is accused of assisting an offender.

All of Cegan's co-defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial continues.