Shafilea Ahmed 'gasped for air as parents suffocated her'
Published: 23rd May 2012 17:08:57
The sister of schoolgirl Shafilea Ahmed broke down in tears as she told a court how the 17-year-old gasped for air as their parents suffocated her.
Alesha Ahmed said Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, killed her sister at their Warrington home in 2003.
She said: "My mum said to my dad, 'just finish it here'." She said her parents put a plastic bag in Shafilea's mouth and held their hands over her face.
At Chester Crown Court, Mr and Mrs Ahmed both deny murder.
Shafilea, 17, went missing from her Cheshire home in September 2003. Her decomposed remains were discovered on the banks of the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004.
Asked about the night of Shafilea's death by Andrew Edis QC, Ms Ahmed said her parents pushed Shafilea on to the settee in their house.
The 23-year-old said: "She was scared, as usual."
She said her mother grabbed a plastic bag from a nearby stool.
"First of all, they put it in her mouth, then they put their hands over her," she said.
Mr Edis asked: "Could you see any part of her face?"
She replied: "Her eyes. They were open really wide... you could tell she was just gasping for air."
Mr Edis said: "Did a time come when she stopped struggling?"
Ms Ahmed replied: "Yes. That was it. She was gone."
When asked what her parents did, she said: "They carried on with their hands still on her mouth, even though she'd stopped struggling, for 15-30 seconds."
Ms Ahmed told the court that her brother and two sisters were also in the room.
"The others ran out of the room because they were so upset. I was just frozen in shock," she said.
Earlier Ms Ahmed, giving evidence from behind a curtain, told the court how her sister drank bleach while on a family visit to Pakistan.
The incident caused severe damage to Shafilea's throat and she was unable to eat properly for months, she said.
She said the incident came after her mother told Shafilea she would be staying in Pakistan and would not be going back to the UK.
The trial continues.
At 00:35:56 in ScotlandWith an international museum, a new train station, a marina and an enormous park all in the pipeline, there is no end to the ambition in the masterplan city planners have drawn up for the Dundee waterfront. They are even looking at building an urban beach which doubles as an ice rink.
At 00:34:35 in ScotlandThe Scottish government has announced a women-only Scottish cabinet event to debate issues related to the independence referendum.
At 00:32:30 in HeadlinesTeachers are warning that CCTV safety cameras are being misused by senior staff as a way of spying on lessons.
At 00:22:37 in TechnologyStick a bunch of people in a room with pizza, caffeine and a whole load of kit, wait 24 hours and something interesting emerges.
At 00:17:52 in HeadlinesHigh temperatures, poor ventilation and lack of drinking water in schools can make the menopause particularly tough for teachers, a conference will hear.
At 00:16:23 in HealthThe demand for bigger buttocks in Venezuela means some women will even have banned injections to achieve them, putting their health at risk.
At 00:10:58 in WorldOrdering a cup of tea in Paris is a bit like asking for pastis in a British pub. You probably won't get what you came for.
At 00:07:26 in HeadlinesThe Archbishop of Canterbury will highlight the suffering of people facing conflict around the world during his Easter sermon.
At 23:43:47 in EnglandPolice have launched a murder inquiry after a 27-year-old man who was injured in fight outside a West Midlands pub, died in hospital.
At 23:05:03 in HeadlinesIran has condemned a US decision to seize a Manhattan skyscraper belonging to a non-profit organisation with alleged links to the Tehran government.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Shafilea Ahmed 'gasped for air as parents suffocated her' [Online] (Updated 23rd May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430474/Shafilea-Ahmed-gasped-for-air-as-parents-suffocated-her [Accessed 20th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Colombia will pay tribute to the Nobel-prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez in a ceremony at Bogota's national cathedral on Tuesday.
The Scottish government has announced a women-only Scottish cabinet event to debate issues related to the independence referendum.
Broadcaster STV has become the latest company to leave the CBI after the employers' body formally backed the campaign against Scottish independence.
Olympic champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning powered to victory in the women's pair at the British rowing trials at Caversham.
Two men have been seriously injured in a crash involving a motorcycle and a truck towing a boat in Ceredigion.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com