Mastermind behind fatal travel agency robbery found guilty of PC murder

Man guilty of travel agency robbery murder
By Linsey McNeill
05/04/2024
Home » Mastermind behind fatal travel agency robbery found guilty of PC murder

A man who masterminded a robbery on a travel agency in which police officer Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead has been convicted of her murder.

Piran Ditta Khan, 75, will be sentenced at a later date.

The former takeaway boss was the last of seven robbers to go on trial for the robbery of Universal Express travel agency in Bradford and the murder of PC Beshenvisky.

After the robbery in November 2005, he fled to Pakistan to live in a remote village in the Jhelum district in the north of the country, where he is said to have turned to religion, grown a beard and helped build a mosque.

Khan was arrested in 2020 and extradited to the UK.

During the six-week trial at Leeds Crown Court, it was said that Khan was a friend of the owners of Universal Express, having used the agency since 1968 to transfer money to Pakistan.

However, he told the court he’d lost trust in them in 1996 when £12,000 he gave them was never transferred. He claimed Hassan Razzaq, one of the accomplices in the robbery, had offered to ‘get his money back’.

During the raid on the travel agency, PC Beshenvisky was shot dead. It was just minutes before the end of her shift, on her daughter’s fourth birthday.

While the prosecution accepted that Khan had remained in a car outside the agency during the raid, it said that his role in the plot meant that he was as guilty of murder ‘as surely as if he pulled the trigger himself’.

A second PC, Teresa Milburn, was also shot in the raid but survived.

After a six-week trial, Khan was found guilty of murder as well as four firearms charges.

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