Belfast Telegraph

Grenades in Derry flat 'from batch used in Dale Cregan Manchester WPC murders'

By George Jackson

Hand grenades found in a Londonderry flat came from the same batch of weapons used to murder two female police constables in Greater Manchester last year, a court has heard.

Constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were killed in a grenade and gun attack in Hyde, Greater Manchester, on September 18, 2012.

They were killed by gangster Dale Cregan (29), who was arrested after walking into a police station an hour after the officers were killed.

Yesterday, in Derry Magistrates Court, a PSNI officer said similar Yugoslavian grenades were found in the attic of Gary Pius McPhillips' Hawkin Street flat in the city centre when it was searched last December 20.

The court also heard that McPhillips (29) is the brother of drug smuggler Mark McPhillips (34), from Elmvale in the Culmore area of Derry.

He was jailed last week for seven years for smuggling £800,000 of herbal cannabis into Derry from Holland, via the Republic of Ireland.

Gary McPhillips has been in custody since police found the grenades, a sub-machine-gun and a pistol, both with silencers, 54 rounds of ammunition, and quantities of ecstasy and methadrone in the attic.

The police witness said he was opposing an application for bail.

He told District Judge Barney McElholm that the applicant has served jail sentences for drugs offences both in Northern Ireland and in Belgium, and he believed "the applicant has access to properties in Spain and Holland".

The police witness described the weaponry and explosives found in the attic above the applicant's flat as "lethal" and added that his international investigation into the case was continuing.

Dismissing the application, the District Judge said, given the applicant's previous drugs convictions, together with the seriousness of the charges he currently faced, "he would have every incentive to flee if granted bail".

The case was adjourned until December 12.

FACTFILE

One-eyed gangster Dale Cregan was jailed for life in June for the murders of policewomen Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in a horrific gun and grenade attack in Manchester in September 2012. The drug dealer lured the two women into his trap with a fake 999 call. At the time, he had been on the run, as he was wanted for the murders of two other men.

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