The trial of a man suspected of killing two men and two female police officers, one of whom was planning a civil partnership with her girlfriend, has begun.

Dale Cregan, 29, stands trial today for four charges of murder, four of attempted murder, and one of causing an explosion. He denied all charges.

Cregan is the main suspect in the murders of Greater Manchester Police officers Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, who died in September last year.

The officers were killed on the morning of 18 September as they responded to a report of a burglary in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

They then came under attack from gunfire and a grenade. One was killed on the scene, the other died in hospital.

Mr Nicholas Clarke QC, prosecuting, said: “He lay in wait with a Glock firearm with an extended magazine that was fully loaded.

“PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes attended. As soon as they arrived Cregan, who was on the run, shot the officers repeatedly, until his magazine was empty.

“As he left the scene he again threw a grenade towards the victims.”

Ms Bone had been planning to enter into a civil partnership with her girlfriend Clare Curran.

Funerals for Ms Bone and Ms Hughes took place at Manchester Cathedral. She was laid to rest in Moray in north- east Scotland in October.

Cregan is also charged with murdering a father and his son, David and Mark Short, last year. Nine other defendants are also standing trial in connection with the crimes.

The families of PCs Bone and Hughes will attend the trial, which is expected to last ten to twelve weeks