A top Scotland Yard officer told the PC Sharon Beshenivsky murder trial how he had an hour-long meeting in a car with one of the accused who approached him with information.

Superintendent Chula Rupasinha said Raza Ul-Haq Aslam - whose family lived two doors from him in London - drove him to a side street 18 days after the robbery and shooting in Morley Street, Bradford, and told him he had heard his fellow accused Muzzaker Shah was in Wales.

Supt Rupasinha, a Metropolitan Police officer for 26 years, told Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Aslam had intended to get Shah's mobile phone number through a third party and give it to the officer so he could pass it on to West Yorkshire Police.

But the offer was conditional on him not disclosing that Aslam was the source of the information and he told him he could not do that.

Supt Rupasinha said he tried to persuade Aslam to co-operate in an open way but he could not achieve that as Aslam did not trust police to keep his identity secret and he was in fear of his life from Shah and his associates.

He said he encouraged Aslam to go to the police and not to proceed over the phone number because he had no authority to do that and it was potentially dangerous.

He said he suggested Aslam met him and a detective in a car to give this information but Aslam would not accept that. He also encouraged him to be an informant but Aslam kept emphasising the brutality of the people he was proposing to give information about.

Supt Rupasinha said he eventually suggested that he contact Crimestoppers and use a pseudonym.

He told the court: "I said to him that would get him a reward if that was his motivation, but also it would be helpful to the Crimestoppers people and investigation team. I felt it was much more efficient and something I encouraged him to do. He said, I will use the name Alex.'"

At the end of the meeting Aslam agreed to get in touch with both Crimestoppers and the incident room and Supt Rupasinha told him to call him within a day to tell him what he had done.

He said Aslam phoned him the following evening and said he had been talking to the police and had used the pseudonym, Alex'. That was the last contact he had with him.

Cross-examined by prosecutor Robert Smith QC, Supt Rupasinha said he had asked Aslam if he had been at the scene of the robbery and he replied no. He also asked if he had been in Bradford and Aslam said no, but he was in the north.

He said Aslam had not told him he had been in the locality when the robbery was being committed.

Asked if he would have taken a different line with Aslam if he had been told he had been in the convoy of cars travelling between Leeds and Bradford before and after the robbery, Supt Rupasinha replied: "I would have arrested him."

He said Aslam did not tell him he had seen the robbers shaving their heads later.

Supt Rupasinha added: "The whole message he was giving me by implication was that he was not involved in this matter but he knew people who either were or were one step removed from it."

He said Aslam did not tell him he had been in phone contact with Shah a few days before the robbery.

He said: "It was absolutely implied that he did not have Shah's number."

Supt Rupasinha said Aslam knew Crimestoppers used pin or serial numbers to pay rewards and said he noticed an animation in his behaviour when the reward was mentioned.

Yusuf Abdillh Jamma, 20, of Small Heath, Birmingham, Raza Ul-Haq Aslam, 25, of Kentish Town, London, and brothers Faisal Razzaq, 25, and Hassan Razzaq, 26, both of Forest Gate, London, plead not guilty to PC Sharon Beshenivsky's murder.

Aslam and the Razzaq brothers deny robbery but Jamma has admitted that charge. Aslam, the Razzaq brothers and Jamma also plead not guilty to firearms offences though Jamma admits two charges of possessing a prohibited weapon.

Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, 25, of London, admits murder, robbery, two charges of possessing a prohibited weapon and two charges of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

He has been acquitted of the attempted murder of PC Teresa Milburn.

The trial continues.