Shafilea Ahmed's sister talks of 'relief'
Published: 24th May 2012 15:07:36
Shafilea Ahmed's sister has told a court it was a "relief" to tell police after seven years that her parents had murdered the teenager.
The 17-year-old went missing from her home in Warrington, Cheshire, in 2003 and was found dead six months later.
Asked why she had kept quiet for so long, Alesha Ahmed said: "I think it was not until I went to uni I saw how wrong family life was."
Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, both deny murder.
At Chester Crown Court, Ms Ahmed, 23, said how she had made the disclosure that she witnessed the murders to her solicitor and a police officer while she was in custody after arranging a robbery at the family home in Liverpool Road.
Questioned by Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, about why she had made the claim after all these years, Ms Ahmed said: "I think at that point I was really suffering with the family (and) the build-up to the robbery.
I think what happened to my sister was wrong but because it's your parents you think it's normal because you still love them”
"It all got too much, and to be honest I think it was a relief more than anything to be able to tell someone finally."
She told the court that when she started university she realised "how wrong family life was".
"When you get used to something, it becomes normal and that's when I saw it wasn't normal, really," Ms Ahmed said.
"I think what happened to my sister was wrong but because it's your parents you think it's normal because you still love them.
"I think at uni I did feel the way my sister had - you want to fit in with everyone else but you are still being forced to live in a different way.
"I think that's what made me crack."
Ms Ahmed told the court she had been in a state of "emotional distress" when she made the witness statement about the alleged murder of her sister.
She said it had "been haunting her" for a long time.
Ms Ahmed told the jury her relationship with her parents "completely broke down" after she refused to marry potential suitors they had set up.
"I felt I was going down the same path that my sister was going down," the 23-year-old said.
"The pressure of going to Pakistan, being 21-years-old at the time and supposed to be married.
"I think I just absolutely snapped. It was either living the way they wanted me to live or live on my own, both were a struggle."
She said she "wasn't thinking properly" when she arranged for the robbery to take place.
The jury was told the incident, on 25 August 2010, saw three or four masked men burst into the house and search for money as Ms Ahmed, her mother, brother and sisters were inside.
Ms Ahmed told the court she was arrested after her mother and brother told police the thieves had known her name.
"I was the one who made contact with them to come over," she said.
"However, as you can see from events I had no control and they did turn on me as well."
Shafilea went missing from the family home in September 2003 and her decomposed remains were discovered on the banks of the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004.
The trial has been adjourned until Monday.
At 17:05:48 in SportLeicester City manager Nigel Pearson insists he is not worried about his unresolved contract situation.
At 16:55:25 in SportHead coach Garry Monk says he will not consider his own future until Swansea City secure Premier League survival.
At 16:52:24 in EnglandA father whose son's life "ended abruptly" at Hillsborough had his dreams cut short through the "failures of others", an inquest was told.
At 16:52:17 in SportFormer Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing believes the entire city would be lifted if the Reds end their 24-year wait to win the league title.
At 16:51:11 in BusinessThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants minimum age restrictions and health warnings on e-cigarettes.
At 16:48:47 in HeadlinesJust two months ago the message on Syria was very simple.
At 16:44:30 in Northern IrelandA nurse in the Republic of Ireland who admitted taping a patient's mouth to keep him quiet has been given the Probation Act.
At 16:44:14 in ScotlandScottish retailer Scotmid has warned it does not anticipate "a meaningful retail upturn" this year after reporting a slump in operating profits.
At 16:38:29 in ScotlandPolice have appealed for witnesses after a man was assaulted in the Cowgate area of Edinburgh on Easter Monday.
At 16:37:22 in WalesA boy accused of raping a fellow pupil at a north Wales primary school has told a jury the alleged attack never happened.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Shafilea Ahmed's sister talks of 'relief' [Online] (Updated 24th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430672/Shafilea-Ahmeds-sister-talks-of-relief [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The number of older people in England needing care will "outstrip" the number of family members able to provide it by 2017, a think tank has warned.
A Moscow court has extended the house arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by another six months for violating its conditions.
Scottish retailer Scotmid has warned it does not anticipate "a meaningful retail upturn" this year after reporting a slump in operating profits.
A boy accused of raping a fellow pupil at a north Wales primary school has told a jury the alleged attack never happened.
A father whose son's life "ended abruptly" at Hillsborough had his dreams cut short through the "failures of others", an inquest was told.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said David Cameron is "right" to state that the UK is a "Christian country".