A couple who killed their "Westernised" teenage daughter because they believed she brought shame on the family were jailed for life today - nine years after the brutal killing.
Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, were told they would both serve a minimum of 25 years in prison after a jury at Chester Crown Court convicted them of the murder of their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea.
The trial heard that they suffocated the teenager with a plastic bag at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.
Shafilea's father showed no emotion as he was sentenced but his wife sobbed loudly.
Trial judge Mr Justice Roderick Evans told them: "Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child."
The judge asked them: "What was it that brought you two, her parents, the people who had given her life, to the point of killing her?"
He continued: "You chose to bring up your family in Warrington but although you lived in Warrington your social and cultural attitudes were those of rural Pakistan and it was those which you imposed upon your children.
"Shafilea was a determined, able and ambitious girl who wanted to live a life which was normal in the country and in the town in which you had chosen to live and bring up your children.
"However, you could not tolerate the life that Shafilea wanted to live.
"You wanted your family to live in Pakistan in Warrington.
"Although she went to local schools, you objected to her socialising with girls from what has been referred to as the white community.
"You objected to her wearing western clothes and you objected to her having contact with boys.
"She was being squeezed between two cultures, the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her."
The judge continued: "A desire that she understood and appreciated the cultural heritage from which she came is perfectly understandable, but an expectation that she live in a sealed cultural environment separate from the culture of the country in which she lived was unrealistic, destructive and cruel.
"The conflict between you and her increased in the last year of her life and you tried to impose your cultural values and attitudes on her by intimidation, bullying and a use of physical violence.
"She tried to escape and she was determined to do so because she knew what lay in store for her at your hands - being taken to Pakistan to be 'sorted out', i.e. having her Westernised ideas removed - and to be married off."
Mr Justice Evans then spoke about the night of the murder.
He said: "On the evening of 11th September 2003 you berated her for her behaviour and in temper and frustration you two suffocated her. It was you, Farzana Ahmed, who said to your husband: 'Finish it here'.
"While I accept that there was no pre-existing plan to kill Shafilea that night, that remark, together with the evidence relating to whether or not Shafilea survived the drinking of bleach, drives me to the conclusion that you two had previously discussed the way that you might ultimately resolve the problem which Shafilea presented for you.
"Your problem was that in what you referred to as your 'community', Shafilea's conduct was bringing shame upon you and your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than your love of your child.
"In order to rid yourselves of that problem, you killed Shafilea by suffocating her in the presence of your other four children."
Shafilea - troubled life of a Bradford girl
Shafilea was born in Bradford on July 14 1986, and soon after her birth the family moved to Warrington, Cheshire.
She had three sisters; Alesha, 24, Mevish, 21, and a 16-year-old sister who cannot be named for legal reasons. She had one brother, Junyad, 22.
Shafilea first came to the attention of the authorities when she was 10, when together with her younger sister Rukish - who was later to change her name to Alesha - she went missing from school on March 10 1998.
The police were called but the children were soon found.
Soon after this incident there was an escalation of problems in the home which appeared to stem from Shafilea's desire to live a westernised teenager's life.
Andrew Edis QC, who prosecuted the case against the parents, said: "She was in direct conflict with the rules and conventions set down by her parents and dictated by their strict expectations of her."
Social services were alerted in May 2002 when Mrs Ahmed and her five children had reportedly been thrown out of their home by her husband.
They were later interviewed under caution by the police but claimed they were unable to recall what had led to the bust-up.
In February 2002, Shafilea's form tutor at Great Sankey High School, Gill Power, told police about a school trip when she was in Year 7.
Shafilea brought in a signed parental consent form but before the class left Mr Ahmed came into the school and accused Shafilea of stealing money and as a punishment would not allow her to go on the trip.
At a school disco in Year 8, Shafilea borrowed money from a friend in order to pay for the event.
At the end of the night she went into the school toilets to change from her western clothes into her traditional clothes before being picked up by her parents.
The following day Mr Ahmed came into the school, angry about Shafilea being at the disco.
In Year 9 the teenager was regularly turning up late to school. When questioned by Gill Power she said her parents were forcing her to do housework and domestic chores.
She said she was getting into trouble at home and her parents were hitting her.
In Year 11 teachers and friends reported that Shafilea would attend school crying, saying that her mother would slap her and throw a slipper at her.
When asked by Ms Power if her father was also hitting her she became more upset and the teacher gave Shafilea the number for ChildLine.
Ms Power recalls that Shafilea had to wear trousers as opposed to skirts and other teachers recall that she was not allowed to take part in swimming at school as a result of "religious restrictions" placed on her by her parents.
Despite her troubles at home, Shafilea produced a good set of GCSE results in 2002 and expressed a desire to go to college and then to university to study law.
But the last 12 months of her life would be even more traumatic than she could have imagined.
During the summer of 2002 Shafilea established relationships with young men and her parents strongly disapproved.
Shafilea railed against them controlling every aspect of her life and went to extreme lengths to keep her western life secret, passing secret notes to boys and giving their telephone numbers to friends for safekeeping.
She would also leave make-up and false nails in her school locker.
Within three weeks of starting sixth form, Shafilea - a keen student - started showing long periods of absence.
Alesha told her friends that their parents were keeping her at home.
Various reports were made to social services and in one phone call made to the family home Mr Ahmed told teacher Joanne Code that he had "burned all her textbooks".
The prosecution said this was all part of the "systematic stripping away of Shafilea's independence".
She went back to school in October 2002 and had visible injuries to her neck and a cut lip. She told Joanne Code that her mother had held her down while her father had hit her and social services were again informed.
Around this time Shafilea told her friend Melissa Powner that her mother had told her: "I can't wait till you go to Pakistan, teach you a lesson" and "you're adopted, you're not my daughter".
Despite this, the social services file on Shafilea was closed on October 2002 after Shafilea played down her problems and said she did not want them to intervene.
Between November 2002 and January 2003 Shafilea told friends and teachers there was an increasing number of assaults.
She quit her job and ran away from home for the first time.
She ran away again for 12 days in February 2003 with her boyfriend Mushtaq Bagas.
She told council officers she needed emergency accommodation as her parents were trying to force her into an arranged marriage.
But on February 10 she was snatched "screaming and terrified" from the street as she made her way to college by her father and later that month she was on a plane to Pakistan where she would end up drinking bleach in protest at the arrangement.
She returned to the UK in May 2003 and spent eight weeks in Warrington Hospital because of the damage to her throat.
During that time her weight plummeted to just 5st.
A fellow patient Fosia Aslam later told police she asked Shafilea why she drank the bleach and Shafilea replied: "You don't know what they did to me there."
She told Aslam her parents wanted her to marry her cousin, adding: "I don't even like the guy."
She said the only reason she drank the bleach was to "get out of there".
After being discharged from hospital Shafilea tried to re-start her life and got a telesales job and started at Priestley College, Warrington, in September 2003.
On September 11, after a period of relative calm when Shafilea had been back in touch with her old friends and was trying to rekindle the relationship with her former boyfriend, she was picked up from work by her mother.
In her key testimony seven years on from Shafilea's death Alesha Ahmed finally exposed the family's dark secret.
She said Shafilea's clothes had once again made her mother angry.
When they got home they searched her bag and found money which they accused the 17-year-old of hiding.
Mr Edis told the jury that it was when Mr and Mrs Ahmed realised they had "failed to crush her" that they decided to kill her and stop her bringing further shame on the family name.
The "tiny and weak" Shafilea was pushed on to the settee.
Mrs Ahmed said to her husband in Punjabi: "Etay khatam kar saro" (Just finish it here).
They beat her and then stuffed a thin white plastic bag into her mouth and held their hands over her mouth and nose until she wet herself and "was gone".
How police caught up with Shafilea Ahmed's killers
Timeline of key events in the police inquiry into the death of Cheshire teenager Shafilea Ahmed.
:: October 4 2002
Teacher Joanne Code refers case of Shafilea Ahmed to social services after Shafilea attended school with injuries to her face.
:: October 9 2002
Shafilea tells friends her parents have been hitting her because they think she has been sleeping with boys.
:: October 11 2002
The teenager tells a social worker she is to be married in Pakistan in February 2003.
:: November 20 2002
Shafilea tells a school friend she is running away because her parents "will not let her be".
:: January 2003
Shafilea runs away to Blackburn with a male friend, Mushtaq Bagas. She tells him about the domestic violence she is suffering at the hands of her parents and the fact they are forcing her into a marriage in Pakistan with a cousin against her will.
:: February 2003
Shafilea runs away again and tells housing officers: "My parents are going to send me to Pakistan and I'll be married to someone and left there."
:: February 10 2003
Iftikhar Ahmed snatches Shafilea as she is walking to college, bundles her in the car and takes her back home.
:: February 19 2003
Ms Code reports Shafilea missing again but Farzana Ahmed tells police the teenager has gone to Pakistan.
:: May 2003
In Pakistan, Shafilea refuses to go ahead with any arranged marriage and drinks bleach in protest. She is brought back to the UK where she spends eight weeks in hospital.
:: September 11 2003
Shafilea is murdered in the family home by her mother and father after another row about her western clothing. She was not reported missing for a week.
:: December 2003
Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed are arrested on suspicion of kidnapping the youngster.
:: February 2004
Shafilea's body is found in the River Kent near Sedgwick, Cumbria. Two post-mortem examinations were unable to establish a cause of death.
:: April 2004
Shafilea's parents lead 150 mourners at her funeral at Warrington Islamic Community Centre. Their solicitor claims police officers "jumped to conclusions" when they arrested the couple.
:: June 2004
The parents are released without charge after the Crown Prosecution Service rules there was insufficient evidence against them.
:: January 2005
Shafilea's parents accuse Cheshire Police of making "no progress" in the hunt for her killer and say they will sue.
:: January 2008
Pathologist Dr Alison Armour told the inquest into her death it was "not credible" that she died of natural causes. Although a cause of death could not be established for certain, Dr Armour said the teenager was "probably" smothered or strangled. Coroner Ian Smith rules she had been unlawfully killed.
:: August 2010
Shafilea's youngster sister, Alesha, is arrested on suspicion of armed robbery at the family home. She tells police that she witnessed the murder.
:: September 2010
Parents Iftikhar and Farzana are re-arrested by Cheshire Police, this time on suspicion of Shafilea's murder, and released on bail.
:: April 2011
Alesha pleads guilty to robbery.