Man denies murder despite admitting he shot officer

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The Independent Online

One of the five men accused of murdering a woman police officer during an armed robbery has admitted that he fired the fatal shot, but he denies murder.

Yusuf Abdillh Jamma, 20, conceded yesterday that he was holding the 9mm pistol when it went off, killing PC Sharon Beshenivsky, but that everything happened in a "split second" following a bungled armed robbery at a travel agent's office in Bradford, West Yorkshire, on 18 November last year. He said he did not realise the officer had been hit.

Another of the five accused was cleared yesterday of the attempted murder of PC Teresa Milburn, PC Beshenivsky's colleague. Mr Justice Andrew Smith ruled that Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, 25, had no case to answer and ordered the jury at Newcastle Crown Court to acquit him. Mr Shah admits PC Beshenivsky's murder, but denies firing the gun that killed her.

PC Milburn, 37, staggered down the road after being shot before collapsing and issuing a "Code Zero" alert to summon help. She has sobbed in the witness box as she recalled seeing PC Beshenivsky's head "flop" to the side before she collapsed in front of her. After being hit in the chest herself, PC Milburn, a mother of one, said she was left coughing up blood, but she managed to describe the gunman to fellow officers as they arrived at the scene.

She recalled seeing an Asian man and a black man in the doorway of the premises, with the Asian man pointing a gun towards them. She told the court the Asian man was responsible for shooting dead her colleague and injuring herself. PC Milburn denied suggestions put by Diana Ellis, QC, for Mr Shah, that a black man was responsible.

Mr Jamma told the court yesterday that the three robbers inside the travel agents were his brother Mustaf, who remains on the run, Shah, and himself. Mr Jamma admits robbery and two firearms offences, but denies murder and two further firearms offences. Raza Ul-Haq Aslam, 25, of north London; Faisal Razzaq, 25, and his 26-year-old brother Hassan, both of east London, all deny murder. The case continues today.