• Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Man extradited from Pakistan for 2005 armed robbery in Bradford

A police officer was killed and another seriously injured when they confronted the robbers near a travel agency in Bradford 

A 75-year-old man has been extradited from Pakistan for an armed robbery that occured in Bradford in 2005.(Representational image: iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

The mastermind of an armed robbery that took place in Bradford in 2005 has been captured and extradited from Pakistan, according to media reports.

A police officer was killed and another seriously injured when they responded to reports of a robbery at the Universal Express travel agency in Bradford, West Yorkshire, on November 18,  2005.

PC Sharon Beshenivsky died on the pavement after being shot, while PC Teresa Milburn survived despite serious injuries, The Guardian reports.

At a trial that is currently on at Leeds crown court, Robert Smith KC, prosecuting, told the jury that seven men were involved in the robbery and except Piran Ditta Khan, all have been convicted.

Two months after the crime, Khan had evaded arrest by fleeing to Islamabad, in Pakistan. He was eventually tracked down by police and extradited to the UK in April last year, the court was told.

Khan, now 75, listened to the proceedings with the help of an interpreter and denied murder and four firearm offences.

Smith said although Khan did not shoot the officers and was not one of the three men who carried out the robbery but had organised it.

Khan remained in a car during the robbery, “But his role in these offences was pivotal and the part he played was such that the prosecution contend that he is also responsible for the murder of PC Beshenivsky,” Smith added.

Khan was the only one of the seven robbers who knew Bradford and was aware that Universal Express was handling substantial amounts of cash, as he had used its services earlier to transfer money to Pakistan, the court was told.

BBC reports that on the morning of the robbery, the men had assembled at a house in Leeds and a witness overheard one of them asking Khan how much money they could expect to get. Khan had replied that they would get £50,000-100,000, Smith told the court.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the moment Beshenivsky and Milburn were shot near Universal Express. The police officers were unarmed and when they confronted the three men fleeing the building, one of them pointed his gun at Beshenivsky and opened fire. Later he shot Milburn in the chest.

Khan, who lived in Ilford, in east London, led a settled domestic and business life before he left “abruptly” for his native Pakistan on January 22, 2006.

He had registered a food company and made plans to open a takeaway in Aberdeen, the court was told. But he abandoned his business and family when he feared being caught by the police, Smith said.

The jury was told that Khan pleaded guilty in October last year to robbery but denies involvement in the murder or firearms offences.

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