Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Shafilea mother denies killing teen

Farzana Ahmed has denied killing her daughter Shafilea
Farzana Ahmed has denied killing her daughter Shafilea

A mother accused of murdering her daughter because she brought shame on the family has denied killing the teenager, a court has heard.

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.

On Thursday, the court heard evidence from Mrs Ahmed who spoke with the aid of an interpreter.

Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending Mrs Ahmed, asked: "Did you kill Shafilea, your daughter?" Mrs Ahmed, wearing a back head scarf and purple cardigan, responded: "No."

Mr Hussain asked: "Did you play any part in her killing?" Mrs Ahmed said: "No." He added: "Did you see Shafilea being killed?" Mrs Ahmed again replied: "No."

She said the last time she had seen Shafilea was on September 11 2003. Mr Hussain said: "And who was the last person to see her alive on September 11?" The defendant replied: "My husband."

Mrs Ahmed has always denied murder, but earlier this month the jury of seven men and five women were told she had changed her account and said she witnessed her husband beat Shafilea on the night of the alleged murder.

She also claimed he had threatened to do the same to her and their other children if she ever asked him what had happened to Shafilea.

It was not until last year that Shafilea's younger sister, Alesha Ahmed, provided the "final piece of the puzzle" about her death, the prosecution said, when she disclosed that she witnessed her parents killing Shafilea at the family home. Alesha described how her parents pushed Shafilea onto the settee in their house and she heard her mother say "Just finish it here" as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager's mouth and suffocated her in front of their other children.

The couple allegedly murdered their "Westernised" daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, the prosecution said. Mr and Mrs Ahmed both deny murder.

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