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Sister breaks down in court over Shafilea's death

Shafilea Ahmed Photo: Cheshire Police

Warning: Distressing content throughout

The sister of Shafilea Ahmed broke down in tears as she described the moment she witnessed her parents allegedly murdering her sister.

Alesha Ahmed told Chester Crown Court that she heard her mother, Farzana Ahmed, say "Just finish it here" as she and her husband Iftikhar forced a plastic bag into Shafilea's mouth and suffocated her to death in front of their other children.

Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, Cheshire, deny murdering 17-year-old Shafilea at the family home in September 2003.

The alleged murder was witnessed by Alesha, then aged 15, who kept the secret for seven years, the jury has been told.

Asked about the night of the murder by Andrew Edis QC, Alesha said her parents pushed Shafilea on to the settee in their house.

arzana and Iftikhar Ahmed, are accused of murdering their daughter Shafilea Ahmed Credit: Reuters

Andrew Edis QC: "What was your father doing?"

Ms Ahmed: "Trying to keep her down on the settee. He had her held down with his leg on her midriff. Shafilea was kicking her legs"

Edis: "Could you see any part of her face?"

Ms Ahmed: "Her eyes."

Edis: "What can you tell us about the way her eyes appeared to you?"

Ms Ahmed: "Just open really wide."

Edis: "When you say wide what do you mean?"

Ms Ahmed: "You could tell she was just gasping for air."

Edis: "Did you see anything else happen to her at that point?"

Ms Ahmed: "She wet herself. She wet herself because she was struggling so much."

Edis: "Was there a time she stopped struggling?"

Ms Ahmed: "Yeah.

"Edis: "What happened then?"

Ms Ahmed: "That was it she was gone."

Crying she was asked what her parents did after she stopped struggling. She said: "They carried on even when she had stopped struggling."

Edis: "How long for?"

Ms Ahmed: "15 to 20 seconds"

Edis: "How did it appear to you that they were behaving? What did you think about their attitude?"

Ms Ahmed: "Aggresive."

Ms Ahmed described how the other children left the room but she stayed. She said: "I was just frozen in shock. I think it was my dad who pulled her off the settee onto the floor in quite a harsh way."

Edis: "When you were able to see her face once the hands were removed were you able to see the bag?"

Ms Ahmed: "It was pulled out after. I think by my dad when the hands came off. I remember straight after he punched her in the chest for no reason."

Shafilea Ahmed Credit: Cheshire Police

Ms Ahmed then described how her father went for his garage keys, where he kept tools. She then left the room. As she left the room she described her sister on the floor.

Her eyes were still open. She wasn't moving. I went upstairs into the bedroom with my sisters.

Earlier the court heard how Shafilea's weight plunged to just five stone after she drank bleach in fear she was going to be left in Pakistan.

There was a general conversation and a remark was made to Shafilea which I think triggered her drinking the bleach.

(My mum) said something along the lines of Shafilea will be staying there and not going back.

It was done in a humorous way but obviously it was very serious as other people were present."

Shafilea then went to the outside bathroom, Alesha said, and a few minutes later everybody heard a scream.

They all ran outside where Shafilea was holding her stomach and there was a bottle of bleach on the floor with the lid still off.

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