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PC Sharon Beshenivsky’s widower welcomes arrest of ex-bouncer


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The widower of a police officer who was murdered while on duty 15 years ago has said he hopes the arrest of an ex-bouncer accused of masterminding her death will bring some closure. 

Paul Beshenivsky said he welcomed the arrest of Piran Ditta Khan, 71, on January 14 over the death of his wife Sharon who was shot dead in 2005 in an armed robbery.

Khan appeared at court in Islamabad, Pakistan, today where matters relating to his extradition were discussed.

West Yorkshire Police officer PC Beshenivsky was shot dead while responding to an armed robbery at a travel agent’s in Bradford on November 18, in 2005 and became the seventh serving female officer ever to be killed in the line of duty in Britain.

West Yorkshire Police officer PC Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead at a travel agent’s in Bradford on November 18, in 2005

The police officer's widower Paul Beshenivsky said he welcomed the arrest of the ex-bouncer accused of masterminding her death

The police officer’s widower Paul Beshenivsky said he welcomed the arrest of the ex-bouncer accused of masterminding her death

She had only been a police officer for nine months when she was blasted in the chest on what was her youngest daughter Lydia’s fourth birthday.

The bullet tore through her stab-proof vest, hit a rib, punctured her aorta artery and damaged her spine – causing her chest to fill with blood. 

Her partner, PC Teresa Milburn, was also shot but survived.

Khan, who is suspected of being the mastermind behind the 2005 robbery, was remanded in custody to next appear in court on January 29. 

Six men have been jailed in connection with her murder but Khan left the country for Pakistan.

A £20,000 reward for information leading to his capture was issued by West Yorkshire Police, who confirmed today that Khan had been arrested.

Mr Beshenivsky, who has since re-married, said: ‘At last they’ve got him. It’s 2005 to now to get him. From my view, it will give me a bit of closure.

‘When something is still happening in your mind and periodically you get told from police that they’re still looking for him, which is great, but you’ve not forgotten about it.

Piran Ditta Khan, 71, who was wanted by police in connection with the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky has been arrested in Pakistan

Piran Ditta Khan, 71, who was wanted by police in connection with the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky has been arrested in Pakistan

‘I heard about it yesterday and I was told it was 90 per cent that it was him.

‘This morning they confirmed that it is him and he’s being held in custody in Pakistan.’

Mr Beshenivsky said an upcoming court case will cause him and his family to re-live the pain all over again.

He added: ‘There will be a court case and it will all be coming to light again. That brings it all back to light, especially with the kids.

‘My daughter just rang me about it and she told me about it. Obviously it’s not very nice, you try to get on with your life.

‘It doesn’t give you total closure, like now it just goes through your mind and the kids are going to be suffering.

Mr Beshenivsky, who heard about the arrest yesterday, said the arrest of Khan had given him a bit of closure

Mr Beshenivsky, who heard about the arrest yesterday, said the arrest of Khan had given him a bit of closure

Forensic investigators are pictured at the scene of PC Beshenivsky's murder in Bradford in 2005

Forensic investigators are pictured at the scene of PC Beshenivsky’s murder in Bradford in 2005

Officers are pictured patrolling floral tributes laid where PC Sharon Beshenivsky was gunned down in Bradford in 2005

Officers are pictured patrolling floral tributes laid where PC Sharon Beshenivsky was gunned down in Bradford in 2005

‘I’m having to deal with it. I’ve remarried, but you’re never going to forget.

‘It’s a bit like Groundhog Day.’

West Yorkshire Police Detective Superintendent Mark Swift said: ‘I would like to thank the National Crime Agency officers in Pakistan and partners who have made this arrest possible.

‘This is a major development in this long running investigation and their assistance in this matter cannot be understated.

‘We are continuing to liaise with partners in Pakistan to process Khan’s extradition with the intention of returning him to the UK to face court proceedings.’

Three men – Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, Mustaf Jama and his younger brother Yusuf Jama – were all given minimum 35-year jail sentences for her murder. 

This 'spray and pray' MAC-10 sub-machine gun was used at the scene of PC Beshenivsky's murder

This ‘spray and pray’ MAC-10 sub-machine gun was used at the scene of PC Beshenivsky’s murder

But police spent years hunting for Khan, who they claimed was the architect of the robbery and travelled to Pakistan after the mother-of-five was killed.

PC Beshenivsky was with her colleague PC Teresa Milburn when they were called to Universal Travel in Morley Street, Bradford, when she was gunned down. PC Milburn was seriously injured but survived. 

The 38-year-old was mother to three children and two stepchildren and wife to her husband Paul.  

On the day of her death, the Beshenivsky family were due to hold a birthday party for their youngest daughter Lydia at their home near Haworth, West Yorkshire.

A headstone dedicated to PC Beshenivsky is emblazoned with the West Yorkshire Police logo

A headstone dedicated to PC Beshenivsky is emblazoned with the West Yorkshire Police logo 

PC Beshenivsky had wrapped the presents and even baked a cake for the occasion.

But as she neared the end of her shift that afternoon, she was called out to a robbery by a seven-strong gang at the travel agency.

She had only been an officer for nine months. The crime shocked the nation and left Mr Beshenivsky and their five children totally devastated.

On the 10th anniversary of her death in 2015, her daughter Lydia pulled at the nation’s heartstrings when she claimed she couldn’t remember her mother.

She said: ‘Nothing, I’ve no memories. I’ve been cheated, haven’t I? Her murderers were heartless.

‘I only know what I’m told about mum. I look at photos of her and think she looks pretty. I would have loved to have known her.’ 

Her son Paul Junior added: ‘Our mum was very brave. 

‘She went into the shop first, she wasn’t scared. 

‘Dad says we are like her in that – we have a strong sense of right and wrong.’

Sharon Beshenivsky is pictured smiling in a black dress before her death in 2005

Her colleague PC Theresa Milburn is seen looking emotional on the day of her funeral after she survived the attack that killed her colleague

Sharon Beshenivsky is pictured smiling in a black dress (left) while her colleague PC Theresa Milburn is seen (right) looking emotional on the day of her funeral after she survived the attack that killed her colleague 

Sharon Beshenivsky's widower Paul is pictured with their two children Paul Junior and Lydia

Sharon Beshenivsky’s widower Paul is pictured with their two children Paul Junior and Lydia 

Sharon's daughter Lydia is pictured wearing a police hat at an event in 2007, two years after her mother's death

Sharon’s daughter Lydia is pictured wearing a police hat at an event in 2007, two years after her mother’s death 

Her husband Paul said after the tragedy:  ‘It took me two days to tell the kids.

‘I struggled to find the words but I saw them looking down and thought I’d be truthful in as simple a way as possible.

Police officers killed in their line of duty in Britain  

PC Yvonne Fletcher, 25, was shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in London on 17 April 1984.

PC Keith Blakelock, 40, was attacked with machetes during the Broadwater Farm riots in London in October 1985.

PC Ian Broadhurst, 34, shot dead in Leeds by David Bieber, wanted by FBI in American for two killings in the USA, on December 26 2003  

PC Sharon Beshenivsky, 38,was  shot dead by a gang during an armed robbery in Bradford on 18 November 2005.

PC Nicola Hughes, 23, and PC Fiona Bone, 32, were killed in a gun and grenade attack carried out by Dale Cregan during an armed robbery in Mottram on September 18 2012.

PC Phillippa Reynolds, 27, died in the passenger seat of her police car in Londonderry, when it was crashed into by a stolen car driven by two men on 9 February 2013.

PC David Phillips, 34, died after being run over by a stolen pick-up truck in Wallasey on 5 October 2015

PC Keith Palmer, 48, was stabbed to death by terrorist Khalid Masood while he was on-duty outside the Palace of Westminster on March 22 2017. 

PC Andrew Harper, 28, was run over after he was called to a burglary in Berkshire on August 15 2019. 

‘I said, ‘Mummy has died and she won’t be coming home. 

‘It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Then a friend took them away for a fortnight to escape the publicity.’

The West Yorkshire Police officer was left without a headstone for more than five years after her death, after her widower Paul claimed he was unable to decide on the right words for it. 

The family row saw her mother and stepfather, Jenny and Tony Booth, begging her widower to erect their headstone.

But instead a simple wooden cross bearing her name marked her final resting place at Nab Wood Cemetery in Shipley, West Yorkshire for years.

A West Midlands Yorkshire Police headstone was put up in 2006. 

Today the force thanked the National Crime Agency who they claim have been working tirelessly in Pakistan to find Khan.  

The force’s Detective Superintendent Mark Swift said: ‘I would like to thank the National Crime Agency officers in Pakistan and partners who have made this arrest possible.

‘This is a major development in this long running investigation and their assistance in this matter cannot be understated.

‘We are continuing to liaise with partners in Pakistan to process Khan’s extradition with the intention of returning him to the UK to face court proceedings.’

WPC Theresa Milburn, who was shot in the attack that killed her colleague Sharon, leads the funeral procession in 2005

WPC Theresa Milburn, who was shot in the attack that killed her colleague Sharon, leads the funeral procession in 2005 

The funeral cortege of PC Sharon Beshenivsky is pictured as her colleagues salute the vehicle

Timeline of the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky  

18 November 2005: PC Sharon Beshenivsky was killed after and her colleague PC Theresa Milburn was seriously injured after they were shot at during an armed robbery at Universal Travel in Bradford. 

25 November 2005: Police named brothers Mustaf Jama, 25, and Yusaf Jama, 19, as well as 24-year-old Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah as suspects in the case. 

12 December 2005: Shah was arrested in Newport, South Wales. 

13 December 2005: Yusaf Jama was arrested in Birmingham. 

18 December 2006: Yusuf Jama and Muzzaker Shah were sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 35 years. 

A third man, Faisal Razzaq, a 25-year-old from London, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years.

2 March 2007: A fourth man, Hassan Razzaq, the 26-year-old brother of Faisal was also convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

Raza Ul-Haq Aslam was sentenced to eight years in prison for robbery.   

1 November 2007: Mustaf Jama was extradited from Somalia after a Home Office investigation connected him to the robbery. 

2 November 2007: Jama was charged with PC Beshenivsky’s murder

Hewan Gordon was jailed for 18 months for helping Shah evade capture 

22 July 2009: Mustaf Jama was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years behind bars.  

2014: Police renew their appeal to find Piran Ditta Khan, who they believed was the mastermind of the robbery and fled to Pakistan after the crime. They promised a £20,000 reward for anyone who could help find him.

January 14 2020: Police arrest Khan in Pakistan after an investigation by the National Crime Agency. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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