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Murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky: Robert Smith KC and Matthew Donkin successfully prosecute Piran Ditta Khan


Robert Smith KC and Matthew Donkin acted for the prosecution in the successful prosecution of Piran Ditta Khan for the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky 18 years after her death. The defendant had fled the country after the murder but was then arrested in Pakistan in 2020. After extradition proceedings he was brought to the UK in 2023 and charged. The trial began in February 2024.

Khan was the organiser behind the armed robbery that took place at a premises at Morley Street in Bradford, responsible for arranging for the three gunmen to enter those premises armed with a loaded pistol and sub-machine gun with the target of stealing up to £100,000. PC Beshenivksy and her colleague PC Teresa Milburn attended in response to a silent panic alarm that had been activated during the robbery. The robbers fled the premises as the police arrived and both officers, unarmed, were shot at point-blank range. PC Beshenivsky’s injuries were instantly fatal. Khan was in the vicinity, together with the three other offenders.

Robert Smith KC was instructed to advise the prosecution within days of the events in 2005 as the first arrests were made. He has successfully acted for the prosecution in four previous trials of the offenders. The conviction of Piran Ditta Khan completes Robert Smith’s prosecution of all of those responsible for PC Beshenivsky’s death.


Robert Smith KC

Call 1971 | Silk 1986

Matthew Donkin

Call 2004

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