Shafilea Ahmed case: 'Sister saw parents commit murder'
Published: 21st May 2012 15:22:50
The sister of a Cheshire schoolgirl who went missing in 2003 saw their parents kill her, a court has heard.
Iftikhar Ahmed, 52 and Farzana Ahmed, 49, of Warrington, deny the murder of 17-year-old Shafilea, whose remains were found in Cumbria in February 2004.
At the start of their trial at Chester Crown Court, the jury heard Alesha Ahmed witnessed the killing.
The prosecution allege Mr and Mrs Ahmed killed their daughter because she refused to obey them.
Andrew Edis QC said the couple believed Shafilea's conduct was bringing shame on the family.
Opening the case against them, he said: "The defendants, having spent the best part of 12 months trying to really crush her, realised they were never going to be able to succeed and finally killed her because her conduct dishonoured the family, bringing shame on them."
He said they embarked on a "campaign of domestic violence to force her to conform".
Mr Edis said: "The prosecution alleges that she (Shafilea) was murdered by the two defendants, her parents, at the family home on the night of September 11/12, September 2003. She was 17 years old."
He said the case had taken a "very long time" to be brought to trial because it was not until August 2010 that a witness to the crime came forward.
"This witness is Alesha Ahmed, Shafilea's younger sister," he said.
The court heard how Alesha had kept quiet for seven years and only told police after she was arrested for taking part in a robbery at her parents' home in Liverpool Road, Warrington.
Mr Edis said Alesha witnessed the killing of her sister by their parents "acting together".
"This evidence was the final piece of the puzzle which the police had been trying to solve for many years."
The court was told that Shafilea had suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her parents in the year before her disappearance.
Mr Edis said: "She was a thoroughly Westernised young British girl of Pakistani origin. Her parents had standards which she was reluctant to follow."
The court heard that the defendants put their daughter under "intense pressure" and were seeking to control her.
"She was unwilling to do this and she resisted," he said.
Shafilea disappeared from the family home in Great Sankey, Warrington, in September 2003.
Her body was found by workmen on the banks of the River Kent, near Kendal, six months later.
The trial continues.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Shafilea Ahmed case: 'Sister saw parents commit murder'. [Online] (Updated 21 May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1429899-Shafilea-Ahmed-case-Sister-saw-parents-commit-murder [Accessed 21st May 2013]
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