Piran Ditta Khan, 75, has finally been brought to justice for the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, a Bradford police officer, in 2005. Following a jury trial at Leeds Crown Court, Khan was found guilty today (4 April 2024) of murder and firearms offences, having previously admitted to robbery charges.

The tragic events unfolded on 18 November 2005 when PC Beshenivsky and her colleague PC Teresa Milburn responded to an alarm at Universal Express Travel Agents on Morley Street, Bradford. Upon arrival, they were confronted by three armed assailants who opened fire, fatally wounding PC Beshenivsky and injuring PC Milburn.

Despite an extensive manhunt and the subsequent arrest and conviction of six individuals involved in the robbery, Khan, the alleged mastermind, managed to evade capture by fleeing to Pakistan.

Efforts to bring Khan back to the UK saw significant collaboration between the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) International team, the National Crime Agency, and Pakistani law enforcement. Despite the absence of an extradition treaty with Pakistan, Khan was eventually extradited in March 2023, following tireless efforts spanning over two decades.

Following his extradition, Khan was formally charged with murder, firearms offences, and robbery. Today’s verdict marks the conclusion of a lengthy legal process and brings closure to a case that has haunted authorities for nearly two decades.

Speaking outside court today Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Marc Bowes of West Yorkshire Police said; “Today as always, our thoughts remain with PC Sharon Beshenivsky and her family, Sharon went to work to protect the public, she responded to a call for help alongside her colleague Teresa but tragically never came home.

“This verdict today is the culmination of 18 years of hard work, tenacious grit and determination to bring Khan before the courts.

“Throughout this investigation, we left no stone unturned and after several trials and convictions, the final suspect Khan has been found guilty of these heinous crimes.

“This has been a complex case with many hurdles along the way but throughout all the challenges we never gave up.

“This truly was a team effort, and we would not be here today without the help from the National Crime Agency, the CPS, the Home Office, The Pakistani Authorities and other forces who have helped over the years in this investigation.

“I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Sharon’s family, to Teresa, and all who were affected by the events of that day.

“Today marks the end of the trial and of an ordeal which began some 18 years ago I would like to praise Sharon’s family for their bravery throughout. We will always remember the ultimate sacrifice made by PC Sharon Beshenivsky in the line of duty.”

David Holderness, Specialist Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire & Humberside, said: “Our thoughts are of PC Sharon Beshenivsky who was murdered in the line of duty, and with her loved ones whose lives were forever changed by the actions of Piran Ditta Khan and others on that fatal day.

“Piran Ditta Khan was the architect of the operation and meticulously planned the robbery that was to be carried out using firearms which, if they thought necessary, could be used to kill.

“Despite not firing the fatal shot, he is as guilty of Sharon’s murder as the man who pulled the trigger.

“This was a complex investigation and prosecution, spanning 18 years and requiring multiple agencies to work closely together.

“I would like to thank West Yorkshire Police, the National Crime Agency, the Pakistani authorities, and colleagues in our International Unit who helped extradite Khan so we could deliver justice for Sharon and her family.”