Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 16:43 UK

Sharon Beshenivsky case examined

By Mark Simpson
BBC North of England correspondent

Pc Teresa Milburn
Teresa Milburn said Pc Beshenivsky was 'a great friend'

As a second Sharon Beshenivsky murder trial comes to an end, BBC News takes a look at the full details of the case.

Amid the tragedy of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky's brutal murder is an extraordinary story of survival.

Pc Teresa Milburn was standing beside Pc Beshenivsky as she was shot dead at point-blank range.

She then watched in horror as the gun was turned on her.

Both officers were shot in the chest with a 9mm pistol. A bullet hit them in almost exactly the same place.

So why did one officer die and the other survive?

The answer is that the angle of the bullet was slightly different. And this small margin was the difference between life and death.

Pc Sharon Beshenivsky
Pc Sharon Beshenivsky was shot during an armed robbery

Pc Milburn's survival would prove to be vital as her account of the shootings was a key factor in helping her colleagues catch the killers.

Both officers were shot by an armed gang which had just robbed a travel agents near Bradford city centre in November 2005.

Pc Milburn, then aged 37, was out of hospital within three days, and was quickly telling detectives everything she could remember about the killing - and the killers.

Listening to her every word was Det Supt Andy Brennan, the officer in charge of the investigation.

In the past three years and eight months he has faced the biggest challenge of his career - catching his dead colleague's killers.

Pc Beshenivsky, 38, was the 168th police officer to be killed since 1900 in a criminal act on the British mainland.

Supt Brennan knew from the start that the Bradford robbery was the product of sophisticated planning and involved a relatively large group of people, but what he desperately needed was the public's help.

Exactly a week after the shootings, he called a lunchtime news conference to appeal for information and release pictures of the wanted men.

But two minutes before he was due to speak to the media, football legend George Best died.

The airwaves were inevitably swamped and the police appeal struggled to get a mention.

That was a bad break for the investigation, but it was not long before there was a breakthrough. One of the gunmen - 20-year-old Yusuf Jama, who would go on to be convicted of murder - was arrested in Birmingham.

Missing suspect

Then the other gunman - Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, 25, from London, who admitted murder - was found in south Wales. Nicknamed "Pesci", police quickly identified him as the leader of the three-man gang inside the Bradford travel agents.

Piece by piece, the full picture was emerging. The getaway car was discovered. One of the guns was found. Vital information was emerging via the Crimestoppers phoneline.

Then the Razzaq brothers - Hassan and Faisal, who would be found guilty of manslaughter - were arrested.

Hassan was a key player in the planning of the robbery and, like his younger brother, was waiting in a neighbouring street as the travel agents was robbed at gunpoint.

There were two types of criminals involved - the "schemers" like Hassan Razzaq and the "muscle" like Shah, the man calling the shots.

Inside the travel agents, he was in charge of the gang. With him was Yusuf Jama, and a third man - Jama's older brother Mustaf.

Nearly three years since his brother was jailed, Mustaf Jama has now been convicted of Pc Behsenivsky's murder.

He fled to his native Somalia after the killing, but was brought back to the UK in 2007 after being smuggled out of Africa in an undercover operation.

The Jama brothers came to England from their war-torn homeland in 1993. Eight years later, Mustaf was jailed for burglary and robbery offences, and had only been out of prison six months when the Bradford robbery took place.

So why was he not sent back to Somalia after being released from jail?

It emerged after Yusuf Jama and Shah's trial that Mustaf Jama was considered for deportation but allowed to stay in the UK because Somalia was thought too dangerous.

Pc Teresa Milburn
Pc Milburn broke down as she gave evidence at the first trial in 2006

There are a number of other difficult questions surrounding the robbery which have been raised.

Not least, why did someone like Muzzaker Shah travel 200 miles from London to rob a travel agents in Bradford?

The answer is that the gang believed it could steal up to £100,000. The Universal Express on Morley Street did money transfers and currency exchanges.

However, on the day in question there was very little cash on the premises and in the end only a small amount was stolen - £5,405.

So how did the police manage to track down those responsible?

One of the factors was the state-of-the-art CCTV system in Bradford. The automatic number-plate recognition system allowed detectives to trace the movements of the convoy of cars involved in the robbery.

In fact, so much CCTV footage was gathered - from across the country - that the tapes filled an entire corridor of a Bradford police station.

Back on beat

Included on one tape were the final moments of Pc Beshenivsky's life, captured by a CCTV camera on Morley Street.

She died an horrific death, shot on the street on her daughter's fourth birthday.

Pc Milburn could so easily have died too. Somehow, she survived.

She is 5ft 2ins tall, extremely softly-spoken and has spent the past year coping with losing her friend and colleague, plus dealing with her own injuries.

And what is Pc Milburn doing now? Has she left the police, and opted for a safer job?

No, she is back at work, back in uniform and undeterred.

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