Gang got 'wasted' before PC killing

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The Independent Online

An armed gang were drinking and smoking cannabis just hours before a bungled robbery that ended with PC Sharon Beshenivsky being shot dead, a court heard today.

Mustaf Jama, 29, denies murdering the officer who was shot outside a Bradford travel agents in November 2005, along with her colleague PC Teresa Milburn, who survived.



He admitted robbery and told the jury he was carrying a knife when he entered the Universal Express premises with his younger brother Yusuf Jama and his brother's friend Muzzaker Shah.



Jama drove his brother from north London to the gang's hideout in Leeds in the early hours of the day of the robbery.



He told the jury five other members of the gang were already there, smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol.



"I believe they were a bit wasted," he told Newcastle Crown Court.



He added: "There was no serious conversation, everyone was joking about, they were all too high to have a normal conversation."



Jama smoked with them but did not drink, then went to bed.



When he got up around six hours later, other gang members were "still getting high".



Jama claimed that before the mid-afternoon raid, nothing was mentioned about weapons to be used.



When he first saw the pistol and machine gun in the premises, he thought they were fake, the court heard.



Owen Davies QC, defending, asked what he would have done if he had known that the guns were real.



"I would not have gone with them," Jama replied.



He said the raid netted the gang as little as £3,000.



As the raiders tried to get away, officers were shot in the street outside the travel agents.



Jama said he just saw "shadows" on the pavement as he ran, and did not know they were police officers.



"I went completely mad," he said. "I was shouting at Shah and my brother.



"I was saying 'you shot them, you shot them' and I was swearing."



The gang members met up back at the Leeds base, and the Jama brothers shaved their heads and their suits were burned.



He left two bundles of around £1,000 and kept one for himself as he prepared to flee.



"I wanted to get out, I didn't want to be anywhere near them," he told the jury.