Friday 22 September 2017

Teen killed by parents over refusal to marry, court told

Shafilea Ahmed.
Shafilea Ahmed.

Nigel Bunyan in Chester

A Muslim teenager was murdered by her parents because she refused to let them "crush her will" and resisted their plans for an arranged marriage, a court heard yesterday.

Shafilia Ahmed (17) was killed for bringing "shame" on her Pakistani-born parents by leading a Western lifestyle and trying to go on dates.

The case was heard by Chester Crown Court yesterday after her sister broke her eight-year silence and told how she saw her parents kill Shafilia.

The court heard how Iftikhar Ahmed (52) and Farzana (49) had spent a year trying to make their daughter adopt a stricter lifestyle. When on September 11, 2003, the couple realised they would never succeed they murdered her at the family home in Warrington, north-west England.

Mystery

Andrew Edis, prosecuting, told the jury: "They finally killed her because she had dishonoured the family and brought shame on them. They had despaired of her ever becoming a daughter they could ever be proud of."

Ms Ahmed's badly decomposed body was found five months later in the Lake District.

Mr Edis said police carried out a lengthy investigation but failed to solve the mystery of her death. However, in August 2010, the deceased's younger sister, Rukish, claimed she witnessed the killing. It was, said Mr Edis, the final piece in the puzzle.

Rukish (23), who has since changed her name to Alesha, originally made the allegation to friends shortly after her sister's disappearance.

But she then retracted the claim and would not repeat it for another seven years.

She did so after being arrested for her part in a robbery at her parents' home.

Mr Edis told the jury: "You will have to decide whether you can really believe what she said or not.

"If she is telling the truth, she has lived for the last nine years under the most extraordinary circumstances. If she is telling the truth this whole family, since September 2003, has been living in extraordinary circumstances."

The trial continues. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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