A mother accused of murdering her daughter because she brought shame on the family has admitted for the first time that she realised her husband had "probably killed" the teenager just one week after she went missing, a court heard today.
Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, are on trial at Chester Crown Court charged with killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.
The prosecution says the couple murdered their daughter because the "westernised" teenager was bringing shame on the family.
On day two of Mrs Ahmed's evidence she told the court that she had witnessed her husband punching and slapping Shafilea on the night of the alleged killing.
She claims she does not know what her husband did with their daughter but that he later threatened to "do the same" to her and her other children if she spoke about what had happened.
Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said: "So what did you think when she didn't turn up?" Mrs Ahmed, who spoke with the aid of an interpreter, replied: "I thought there was a reason why my daughter was not coming back home."
"And what was that?" Mr Edis asked. "I thought my husband took her. He must have done something," she said.
Mr Edis asked: "What did you think he must have done?" The defendant replied: "Because I didn't hear anything from her, so I thought he probably had killed her." Mr Edis asked when she came to this conclusion and she replied: "After a week or so later when I didn't hear anything from her."
Mr Edis said: "So for several years you brought up your three daughters with a man who you thought had killed their sister?" She said she had no choice and that Mr Ahmed could have killed her and the other children. She added: "I was fearful he could do the same to us. That's why I didn't say anything."
Mr and Mrs Ahmed both deny murder. The jury was sent home for the weekend and the trial will continue on Monday.