Murdered Pc had been looking forward to daughter’s birthday party, court hears

A police officer shot dead while interrupting an armed robbery was discussing how much she was looking forward to her daughter’s birthday party at the end of her shift moments before volunteering for the fatal call, a court heard.

Pc Sharon Beshenivsky was gunned down in the street on November 18 2005 by one of three men who had just carried out a raid at Universal Express travel agents in Bradford.

The 38-year-old’s husband and children watched as the last of the men involved in the robbery to be convicted was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Friday.

Memorial of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford
A memorial for Pc Sharon Beshenivsky (John Giles/PA)

The sentencing hearing was told Pc Beshenivsky, who had three children and was stepmother to her husband’s two children from a previous relationship, had been a PCSO for 18 months, but had only been an officer with West Yorkshire Police for nine months when she was killed.

In a victim personal statement in January 2009, Paul Beshenivsky described how his wife had loved being a police officer, the court heard.

Prosecutor Robert Smith said Pc Beshenivsky and her colleague Pc Teresa Milburn, who survived being shot in the chest during the incident, were due to be finishing their shift in less than an hour, and were “on a specific form of duty that day which did not require them to answer calls”.

He told the court Pc Beshenivsky and Pc Milburn discussed whether they should respond to the request, and decided to volunteer when it was repeated for the fourth time.

Mr Smith said: “As their shift was reaching an end they had been discussing arrangements Pc Beshenivsky was making for her daughter Lydia’s fourth birthday that day.

“She told Pc Milburn she was looking forward to the party and opening her daughter’s birthday presents with her.

“Both were hoping to finish their shift at the appointed time.”

Sharon Beshenivsky sentencing
Pc Theresa Milburn, who answered the call along with Pc Sharon Beshenivsky, has said she thinks of Sharon ‘every day’ (Peter Byrne/PA)

“These events had a profound effect on her life and on the lives of her husband and son.

“The pain she felt after being shot was so severe she was unable to describe it.”

The court heard Pc Milburn “still can’t understand why they were shot” as they had made no attempt to arrest the three men and posed no threat to them.

Her victim personal statement read: “I think back to that incident every day, I think back to Sharon every day. I’ve never grieved for someone as much as I have done for Sharon.”

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