• Sunday, June 23, 2024


Beshenivsky murder: Life term for mastermind

The attack took place in 2005 when PC Beshenivsky, along with her colleague PC Teresa Milburn, had responded to a call of robbery at a travel agency in Bradford

Piran Ditta Khan (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)

By: Shajil Kumar

The mastermind of a 2005 armed robbery in Bradford, in which a woman police officer was shot dead, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 40 years.

Piran Ditta Khan, 75, was last month found guilty of murdering West Yorkshire Police officer Sharon Beshenivsky, who was shot at point-blank range in Morely Street, Bradford on November 18, 2005.

Shortly after the attack, Khan fled to Pakistan and evaded justice for nearly two decades. He was detained by Pakistan authorities in 2020 and extradited last year.

The attack took place when PC Beshenivsky, 38, along with her colleague PC Teresa Milburn, then 37, had responded to a call of robbery at a travel agency.

They both were unarmed and shot on the chest. While Beshenivsky succumbed to her injuries, Milburn survived the attack.

The judge, Mr Justice Hilliard, praised Beshenivsky for her courage and told Khan: “The sentence I pass is no measure of the value of the life that has been lost.”

In a statement read outside court, PC Beshenivsky’s family said that November 18, 2005, will remain etched in their memories forever.

The family was planning to celebrate the birthday of Beshenivsky’s daughter. “What started as a happy, special day to celebrate Lydia’s fourth birthday, was a day that ended in devastating, sad consequences due to the callous actions of Piran Ditta Khan and his associates.”

The family claims that now it is a day of remembrance and memorial.

Khan pleaded guilty to robbery and was found guilty of murder, two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

He is the last of the seven men involved in the raid to be tried.

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