Elderly Man Accused of Planning Robbery Leading to Policewoman’s Murder in Bradford

Elderly Man Accused of Planning Robbery Leading to Policewoman’s Murder in Bradford

Leeds Crown Court has commenced proceedings against Piran Ditta Khan, a 75-year-old man accused of being the mastermind behind a tragic travel agency robbery that resulted in the fatal shooting of Policewoman PC Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford back in 2005.

While Khan wasn’t physically present during the raid, the prosecution asserts that he was the architect responsible for organizing the criminal endeavor.

Fleeing Justice: 15-Year Evasion Ends in Pakistan Arrest

Piran Ditta Khan managed to evade justice for 15 years by fleeing to Pakistan, where he was eventually arrested and detained by Pakistani authorities in January 2020.

The court heard that Khan had meticulously planned the robbery, scouting the Universal Express travel agency in Bradford five days before the incident.

Robbery Details: Deadly Confrontation and Police Response

Jurors were presented with harrowing details of the robbery, during which three armed robbers entered the travel agency with a machine gun, pistol, and knife.

PC Sharon Beshenivsky and her colleague PC Teresa Milburn were shot at almost point-blank range, with Beshenivsky succumbing to her injuries, left to die on the pavement. The attackers escaped with £5,400 in cash.

Role of the Accused: Planning, Knowledge, and Escape

While Khan was not physically present during the robbery, the court heard that he played a pivotal role in organizing the crime.

He had knowledge of the Universal Express business, including its layout and security measures.

Having scouted the premises, Khan was reportedly aware of substantial cash holdings, often used by local residents to transfer funds to relatives in Pakistan.

Guilty Plea and Crime Details: The Plan Unveiled

Khan has already pleaded guilty to the robbery of the travel agency. The court heard that he provided a minimum and maximum estimate of the expected cash haul during a meeting at a safehouse in Leeds before the robbery.

The orchestrated crime involved a phone call instructing the robbers to proceed as the Mercedes drove past the premises.

Shooting and Escape: Officers Confronted and Tragedy Unfolds

During the robbery, the armed assailants treated the staff brutally, firing a machine gun round that jammed inside the agency.

After leaving the scene, they encountered two unarmed female police officers. Without hesitation, one of the assailants shot both officers, leading to the instant death of PC Beshenivsky and serious injuries to PC Milburn.

Compelling Evidence: Prosecution Alleges Khan Orchestrated Events

Prosecutor Robert Smith detailed the compelling evidence suggesting Khan’s orchestration of the tragic events, emphasizing his role as the organizer and his full agreement to the use of firearms during the robbery.

PC Beshenivsky, who had been in the police force for just nine months, was fatally shot, while PC Milburn survived with injuries.

The trial unfolds, providing a stark look into the details of a crime that shocked the community and left a policewoman dead.