• Friday, May 24, 2024

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Man extradited from Pakistan convicted of killing Sharon Beshenivsky

Piran Ditta Khan fled Britain after the shooting of police constable Sharon Beshenivsky

Piran Ditta Khan (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)

By: Pramod Thomas

A 75-year-old man who was extradited from Pakistan was on Thursday (4) convicted of the murder of a police officer nearly 20 years ago.

Piran Ditta Khan fled Britain after the shooting of police constable Sharon Beshenivsky who was killed as she tried to foil a robbery at a travel agency in November 2005.

The rare fatal shooting of a police officer on duty in Britain triggered widespread shock and revived calls for police to routinely carry guns.

Khan is the last of the seven men involved in the raid in Bradford in northern England to be convicted.

Prosecutors said the former takeaway boss was the group’s ringleader.

Although he did not leave the safety of a lookout car during the raid he played a “pivotal” role in planning it and knew that loaded firearms were to be used.

This made him guilty of Beshenivsky’s murder “as surely as if he had pulled the trigger on that pistol himself”, prosecutors said.

Khan was convicted by a majority of 10-1 jurors at Leeds Crown Court in northern England.

FILE PHOTO: Floral tributes and messages left by a wall for murdered Constable Sharon Beshenivsky at the scene on November 19, 2005 in Bradford, England. (Photo: Getty Images)

Beshenivsky, who was 38 and had three children and two step children, was gunned down on her youngest daughter’s fourth birthday. She had been a police officer for just nine months.

Her female colleague Teresa Milburn was shot in the chest in the incident but survived. Neither officer was armed.

Police superintendent Marc Bowes welcomed the verdict as the “culmination of 18 hears of hard work, tenacious grit and determination to bring Khan before the courts”.

“Today as always our thoughts remain with PC Sharon Beshenivsky and her family, Sharon went to work to protect the public, she responded to a call for help alongside her colleague Teresa but tragically never came home,” he added.

Khan, who was arrested in Pakistan in January 2020, was extradited to the UK last April.

The other six gang members have previously been jailed in connection with the shooting, including a Somali national who was sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in jail.

(AFP)

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