Piran Ditta Khan Sentenced to Life for 2005Murder of British Police Officer

Piran Ditta Khan, 75, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 40 years for the 2005 murder of British police officer Sharon Beshenivsky. Khan, the mastermind behind the armed robbery, fled to Pakistan but was arrested in 2020 after diplomatic pressure from the British government.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Piran Ditta Khan Sentenced to Life for 2005Murder of British Police Officer

Piran Ditta Khan Sentenced to Life for 2005Murder of British Police Officer

Piran Ditta Khan, 75, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 40 years for the murder of British police officer Sharon Beshenivsky in 2005. The takeaway restaurant boss will have to live to the age of 111 to be considered for parole.

Why this matters: This sentencing brings attention to the ongoing efforts to bring criminals to justice, even years after the crime, and highlights the importance of international cooperation in combatingviolent crime. It also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers and the need for continued support for their families.

PC Beshenivsky, 38, was shot dead during an armed robbery at the Universal Express travel agency in Bradford, northern England, on November 18, 2005. Her colleague, Teresa Milburn, was also shot but survived. The robbers, who included three men armed with guns and a knife, escaped with £5,405.

Khan, the mastermind behind the robbery, planned the operation and gave the go-ahead for the armed men to enter the travel agency. After the murder, he fled to his native Pakistan, leaving his wife and children behind, and remained a free man until his arrest in January 2020, following diplomatic pressure from the British government.

At Leeds Crown Court, Judge Mr. Justice Hilliard rejected the prosecution's case for a whole life order but stated that Khan would inevitably never be released anyway. PC Beshenivsky's family, including her husband Paul, 61, and their two children, Lydia, 22, and Paul, 25, were present in court to hear the judge's decision.

In a personal statement, Lydia said, "I regard my mother as a hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice." Her father, Paul, described the ordeal of coping with the final trial as "like losing Sharon all over again."

Judge Mr. Justice Hilliard addressed Khan, stating,"You intended the weapons should be used to kill if necessary to do so. "He also acknowledged the bravery of the officers, saying,"PC Beshenivsky and her colleague Teresa Milburn deserved the public's admiration and gratitude for fearlessly responding to the emergency and investigating the armed robbery."

PC Beshenivsky had only been an officer for nine months at the time of her death. Her husband, Paul, remembered her dedication, saying, "She was doing her duty as a police officer and the job she loved to do. We were all very proud of her."

In a statement read outside the court on behalf of the entire family, it was expressed that "18 November, the date of the ill-fated robbery and Lydia's fourth birthday, is now a day of remembrance and memorial. That was the day the lives of our family and those close to Sharon changed forever."

The sentencing of Piran Ditta Khan brings a measure of closure to the tragic murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky nearly two decades ago. While no prison term can compensate for the loss of a beloved officer, wife, and mother, the family expressed that they will move forward knowing that justice has been served.