Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Friday, 22 December 2006

Pc murderers must serve 35 years

Pc Sharon Beshenivsky
Sharon Beshenivsky had been a police officer for nine months

Two members of the gang that killed Pc Sharon Beshenivksy during a robbery have been ordered to serve at least 35 years each in prison for her murder.

Yusuf Abdillh Jamma, 20, of London, and Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, 25, of Birmingham, were sentenced to life in prison, at Newcastle Crown Court.

Faisal Razzaq, 25, of London, was given a life sentence for the manslaughter of the Pc but with a tariff of 11 years.

Pc Beshenivsky was shot on 18 November 2005 at a travel agency in Bradford.

All three were also found guilty of robbery and a series of firearms offences.

Sentencing the trio, Judge Mr Justice Andrew Smith said: "The victim impact statements are moving and bring home what Teresa Milburn put in these words, 'The public see me as a police officer but under my uniform I'm a person who has a family and a life'."

Muzzaker Shah
Muzzaker Shah was on police bail at the time of the murder

He adjourned the sentencing of Faisal Razzaq's 26-year-old brother Hassan Razzaq, for Pc Beshenivsky's manslaughter, robbery and firearms offences until January to enable pre-sentence reports to be compiled.

Raza Ul-Haq Aslam, 25, of north London, who was cleared of murder and firearms offences, will be retried on a robbery charge on 19 February at Newcastle Crown Court after a jury failed to reach a verdict.

Det Supt Andy Brennan, who led the murder inquiry, said the West Yorkshire force was "very pleased" with the sentences.

"Both men [Shah and Jamma] are very, very dangerous and ruthless and I believe they would just continue to commit crime if they hadn't been taken off the street."

Shah and Faisal Razzaq were on police bail on suspicion of firearms offences when they killed Pc Beshenivsky, it can now be reported.

Shah and Jamma were described during the 11-week trial as "absolutely ruthless" key members of the gang that carried out the bungled armed robbery which led to the shootings of Pc Beshenivksy and her colleague Pc Teresa Milburn.

Colleague's tears

Pc Milburn, who survived being shot in the chest, was in court on Friday to see her friend's killers being sentenced.

She sobbed as prosecutor Robert Smith QC read out a statement on her behalf.

Mr Smith said Pc Milburn, 37, had returned to work and was continuing with "courage and resolution".

Pc Milburn broke down as she recounted the day of the shooting in an interview with the BBC.

"I can remember every second of that incident and it's something that will never leave me," she said. "It's something that I'll have to learn to live with.

"I did not have time to think about anything, I was just watching Sharon. The sequence of events happened very quickly... but for me it was like time stopped."

If I ever get a chance many years down the line I will go to her tombstone and say what I feel
Muzzaker Shah

Speaking about the impact of the shootings on Pc Beshenivsky's family, Mr Smith said: "To say the lives of all the members of that family were devastated beyond belief is probably an understatement."

Diana Ellis QC, for Shah, said the 25-year-old told his solicitor he was sorry just days after he was arrested and said he wanted to visit Pc Beshenivsky's grave.

She said that on 14 December last year, he said: "I'm sorry. Sorry for the two police officers. I've got a mum and sisters, they have children, I know what they have lost.

"If I ever get a chance many years down the line I will go to her tombstone and say what I feel.

"I wish it had been my life, and not her life. I wish she had not been there."

Yusuf Jamma
Jamma admitted firing the fatal shot but said it was an accident

Miss Ellis told the court Shah's personality and behaviour changed significantly after he was the victim of a "very serious assault" by two youths in 1998.

Shah, who came from a good family background and was one of six brothers, suffered three compound fractures to his skull in the attack.

A psychologist's report found there was no doubt the 1998 attack was to blame for a change in his behaviour.

Shah has previous convictions for robbery and for having a loaded handgun in a public place, for which he was detained for six months in a mental hospital.

Jamma's counsel, Peter Griffiths QC, said his client was not an "unfeeling individual" and had expressed his "profound remorse and sorrow".

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