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Piran Ditta Khan fled to Pakistan after PC Beshenivsky’s murder in 2005, but was extradited in 2023
By Alex Moss & David Spereall
BBC News

The 75-year-old ringleader of an armed robbery in which a police officer was shot dead almost 20 years ago has been jailed for life for her murder.

Piran Ditta Khan spent nearly two decades evading justice for his part in the killing of PC Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford on 18 November 2005.

Khan, who was extradited from Pakistan last year, was convicted of murder following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

He was told he would serve a minimum term of 40 years in prison.

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Hilliard, said that PC Beshenivsky’s “courage and commitment to her duty that day cost her her life”.

He told Khan: “The sentence I pass is no measure of the value of the life that has been lost.

“That’s beyond measure and no sentence I pass can put right what you’ve done wrong.”

Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead as she arrived at the scene of a robbery at Universal Express in Bradford

PC Beshenivsky had been responding to reports of an armed robbery at a travel agent with her colleague, PC Teresa Milburn, when she was fatally attacked.

PC Milburn was seriously injured.

The court was told how PC Beshenivsky had been discussing her daughter Lydia’s family birthday party with PC Milburn when she heard the call for assistance.

“We can say with absolute certainty that her thoughts were with her family very shortly before she died,” the judge said.

In a statement read outside court, PC Beshenivsky’s family said: “18 November 2005 is a date that will remain etched in our memories forever.

“What started as a happy, special day to celebrate Lydia’s fourth birthday, was a day that ended in devastating, sad consequences due to the callous actions of Piran Ditta Khan and his associates.

In a family statement PC Beshenivsky’s children, Lydia and Paul, said their lives had been “changed forever” by Khan’s actions

“Since then, 18 November is no longer a birthday celebration – for Lydia and us all – but now a day of remembrance and memorial.

“That was the day the lives of our family and those close to Sharon changed forever. As well as Sharon’s friend and colleague Teresa, and her family.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Twigg of West Yorkshire Police said: “Two mums set out to work that day – two ordinary people doing extraordinary work for the public. One didn’t return home and one didn’t return home in the same way.

Assistant Ch Con Patrick Twigg said the police would continue to honour their fallen colleague’s memory

“All those years ago we made a promise to hunt down every last member of this gang and today we achieved that.

“West Yorkshire Police will continue to honour Sharon’s memory, we still mourn the loss, we still miss her, she will be forever in our thoughts.”

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4 April