Sharon Beshenivsky: Murder accused 'never' visited travel agents

A man accused of murdering PC Sharon Beshenivsky has said he "never" visited the travel agents where she was shot.

Piran Ditta Khan, 75, is alleged to have planned a robbery at Universal Express in Bradford in 2005, where PC Beshenivsky was killed.

On Friday he told Leeds Crown Court he had used the business to transfer money but had not been to the premises.

Mr Khan, who admitted robbery at a hearing last year, denies murder and four firearms offences.

PC Beshenivsky was 38 when she died after being shot at point-blank range by one of three men while responding to reports of a robbery. Her colleague PC Teresa Milburn was also injured.

Prosecutors allege that although Mr Khan was not one of the three men who carried out the robbery, having remined in a Mercedes SLK 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.

The other men involved have since been convicted of offences including murder, manslaughter, robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Mr 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.

Jurors have heard that of the seven men involved in the robbery, Mr Khan was the only one who was familiar with Universal Express.

The court heard he had used owner, Mohammad Yousaf, to send money to his family in Pakistan since 1968 but said he had never been to the premises on Morley Street.

Mr Khan told the jury Mr Yousaf and his nephew Mohammad Ishaque had "lost his trust" after £12,000 he gave them in 1996 was not transferred, and he never used them again after that.

He said when he later met one of the men who went on to carry out the robbery, Hassan Razzaq, he told him about the money.

He said Razzaq had said "'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'," Mr Khan said.

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

Mr Khan told the court he came to the UK from Pakistan as a teenager in 1965, initially living in Bradford, but at the time of the robbery he was living in London.

When questioned by his barrister Peter Wright KC he told jurors he was an "ill man" who was receiving treatment for skin cancer.

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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