Shame drove couple to kill teenage daughter – court told
A COUPLE murdered their teenage daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, a court heard today.
The decomposed remains 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004.
Today, as her parents Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed went on trial for murder, prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told Chester Crown Court they had killed her because she refused to obey them.
Opening the case against the Ahmeds, Mr Edis told the jury of seven men and five women: "The defendants, having spent the best part of 12 months trying to really crush her, realised they were never going to be able to succeed and finally killed her because her conduct dishonoured the family, bringing shame on them."
Ahmed, 52, and his 49-year-old wife, deny murdering Shafilea at their home in Warrington in September 2003.
Mr Edis said: "The prosecution alleges that she (Shafilea) was murdered by the two defendants, her parents, at the family home on the night of September 11/12, September 2003. She was 17 years old."
He said the case had taken a "very long time" to be brought to trial because it was not until August 2010 that a witness to the crime came forward.
"This witness is Alesha Ahmed, Shafilea's younger sister."
The court heard that Alesha kept silent for seven years and only told police after she was arrested for taking part in a robbery at her parents' home in Liverpool Road, Warrington.
Mr Edis said Alesha witnessed the killing of her sister by their parents "acting together".
"This evidence was the final piece of the puzzle which the police had been trying to solve for many years."
"Until that moment they had no direct evidence of murder," he added.
Mr Edis said that, after witnessing the murder, Alesha lived in a family "under great strain" and that as she grew up she suffered from "divided loyalties".
The case continues.