Pc Sharon Beshenivsky murder accused says robber offered to ‘get his money back’

The alleged mastermind of an armed raid which saw Pc Sharon Beshenivsky shot dead has said one of the robbers offered to “get his money” back from the owner of the travel agents where she was killed.

Piran Ditta Khan claimed he was owed £12,000 by the owner of Universal Express, but that he had never visited the business’s premises in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Unarmed Pc Beshenivsky and her colleague Pc Teresa Milburn were shot at point blank range as they responded to the robbery at Universal Express in November 2005.

Floral tributes at the scene of the murder of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky in 2005
Floral tributes at the scene of the killing of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky in 2005 (John Giles/PA)

Prosecutors say Khan, 75, was the only one of the group who was familiar with Universal Express after using the business to send money to family in Pakistan.

On Friday Khan told Leeds Crown Court he had used the owner of Universal Express, Mohammad Yousaf, to transfer money since 1968 but had never been to the premises on Morley Street.

He said Mr Yousaf and his nephew Mohammad Ishaque had “lost his trust” after £12,000 he gave them to send to his brother in Pakistan in 1996 was not transferred, and he never used them again after that.

Khan said Hassan Razzaq, one of the seven men who went on to carry out the robbery, offered to “get his money back” after he told him the story of the missing money while on a business trip to Aberdeen.

The defendant told jurors he met Razzaq through a business associate, and while travelling to Scotland, Razzaq asked him about a cafeteria he was planning to open.

“I said to him: ‘If you want your coffee or tea sweeter you put more sugar in it, if I had more money I would make a better place. One guy owes me £12,000. If I had this £12,000 I would invest it here’.

“Then he asked me the whole story. He says to me ‘Show me the place or show me the person he is, I will get your money’.

“I asked him ‘How will you get the money?’ He said: ‘Uncle you leave that to me’.”

Khan said Razzaq never told him how he was planning to get the money back.

He told the court: “He doesn’t look like a gangster to me, he was well dressed, well spoken, I wasn’t thinking ‘he’s a gangster’. To me he’s a very polite man.”

Khan told the court he came to the UK from Pakistan as a teenager in 1965, initially living in Bradford.

At the time of the robbery he was living in London.

The court has heard Khan travelled to Pakistan two months after the robbery and evaded arrest until he was detained by Pakistani authorities in 2020 and extradited to the UK last year.

Prosecutors say that although Khan was not one of the three men who carried out the robbery, and did not leave the safety of a Mercedes SLK that was allegedly being used as a lookout car, he is guilty of Pc Beshenivsky’s murder due to his “pivotal” role in planning the raid knowing that loaded weapons were to be used.

Prosecutor Robert Smith KC has told jurors the two officers were shot by one of three men who had just committed the robbery, with the gunman “firing indiscriminately” as he ran away from the scene.

Pc Beshenivsky, 38, who had only been an officer for nine months, died from her injuries while Pc Milburn was shot in the chest and survived.

Khan denies murder, two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon.

The trial continues.

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