Court of Appeal adjourns hearing into murder conviction

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Paul Beshenivsky Paul Beshenivsky

The widower of a policewoman gunned down during an armed robbery in Bradford has spoken of his disgust that one of her murderers has lodged a bid to appeal against his conviction.

Five years ago yesterday PC Sharon Beshenivsky, 38, was shot dead by an armed gang fleeing the robbery at a travel agency in Morley Street, near Bradford city centre.

Her colleague, PC Teresa Milburn, was badly injured. Mustaf Jama, 30, was found guilty of murder by a jury after he was brought back to this country from Africa by West Yorkshire detectives to face trial following his capture in his native Somalia where he had fled.

Jama is now making a legal bid for freedom though the Court of Appeal in London.

PC Beshenivsky’s former husband Paul, who has since remarried, said he hoped that the country’s top judges would block Jama’s attempt to get his conviction quashed for which he was sentenced to a life imprisonment with a 35-year minimum term.

Mr Beshenivsky, of Hainworth, near Keighley, who works as a market gardener, said: “If he won it would be very upsetting for the extended family and of course the police who worked very hard to capture him, put him through a trial and get him locked up.”

Jama did not fire the fatal shot that killed PC Beshenivsky, a mother of three children and two stepchildren.

But the prosecution successfully argued that he was “as much guilty of murder” as the gunman during his trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

At a preliminary hearing at the Court of Appeal in London this week, Mr Justice Rupert Jackson and Mr Justice Ramsey adjourned the case to give Jama’s freshly-instructed legal team time to investigate the evidence and prepare his case.

The judges directed that the case return to the court in four weeks, when Jama is expected to seek permission to appeal.

Two other members of the gang – Jama’s younger brother Yusuf and Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah – who is believed to have fired the fatal shot, were also convicted of PC Beshenivsky’s murder and given minimum 35-year jail terms.

Earlier this year Somali Hewan Gordon won an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, against a Government bid to deport him back to his own country.

The appeal is understood to have been made on human-rights grounds.

Gordon was originally jailed for 18 months in 2007 for helping gang member Muzzaker Shah evade capture, prolonging the agony for PC Beshenivsky’s family and hindering a nationwide police hunt.

Mr Beshenivsky hit out at the decision, calling it “pathetic” and claiming the judges had not considered the impact of the murder on his family.

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