Mastermind of Fatal 2005 Bradford Robbery Sentenced to Life

Piran Ditta Khan, 75, was sentenced to life imprisonment for masterminding the 2005 armed robbery in Bradford that killed PC Sharon Beshenivsky. Khan evaded justice for 15 years before being extradited from Pakistan and brought to trial.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Mastermind of Fatal 2005 Bradford Robbery Sentenced to Life

Mastermind of Fatal 2005 Bradford Robbery Sentenced to Life

Piran Ditta Khan, a 75-year-old grandfather, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 40 years for masterminding the 2005 armed robbery in Bradford that resulted in the fatal shooting of PC Sharon Beshenivsky and injured PC Teresa Milburn. Khan evaded justice for almost two decades before being brought to trial and sentenced.

Why this matters: This case highlights the importance of holding criminals accountable for their actions, even if it takes years to bring them to justice. The sentencing of Piran Ditta Khan serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences of violent crimes and the need for continued efforts to combat organized criminal activity.

The armed robbery occurred on November 18, 2005, when PC Beshenivsky's youngest child, Lydia, was celebrating her fourth birthday. In court, Lydia, now 22, addressed Khan, saying:"There will always be a void in my life - a void that should have been filled with my mum's presence. Every birthday is a reminder of what happened that day. "Her father, Paul, described telling the children about their mother's death as"the hardest thing I have ever had to do."

PC Beshenivsky and PC Milburn responded to an alarm call at Universal Express travel agent in Morley Street, Bradford, where they were shot at point-blank range. PC Beshenivsky, 38, died immediately, while PC Milburn, 37, survived after radioing for help. Khan, who was not present at the scene, fled to Pakistan three months after the shooting and evaded arrest for 15 years until he was detained by Pakistani authorities in 2020 and extradited to the UK last year.

Judge Mr. Justice Hilliard told Khan: "You will spend the rest of your life in prison... You had the idea of robbing the travel agency and intended that the weapons should be used to kill if necessary to do so." Specialist prosecutor David Holderness stated: "Even though he did not fire the fatal shot, his actions stole from Sharon and those who knew her a lifetime together, and as he is sentenced today our thoughts remain with her family and loved ones."

PC Beshenivsky had only been a police officer for nine months at the time of her death. She left behind three children and was stepmother to her husband's two children from a previous relationship. Khan was the last of the seven men involved in the raid to be tried. Mustaf Jama, Yusuf Jama, and Muzzaker Shah are serving life sentences with minimum 35-year terms for their roles in the robbery and murder.