1. ITV Report

Shafilea's father denies violent streak and threats to family

Iftikhar Ahmed has denied murdering his daughter. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A father accused of murdering his 17-year-old daughter because she brought shame on the family has denied being a "domineering and violent man."

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, called into question his wife Farzana Ahmed's "mental state" after she claimed he beat his daughter on the night of the alleged murder and threatened his family.

Shafilea Ahmed contacted social services about her father before she disappeared. Credit: PA

Both parents from Warrington are on trial at Chester Crown Court charged with killing their daughter, Shafilea, in 2003.

Mrs Ahmed, 49, has always denied murder, but this week the jury of seven men and five women were told she had changed her account and said she witnessed her husband beat Shafilea.

But giving evidence today, Mr Ahmed denied her claims and said his wife had changed her story as she was "under a lot of stress."

I have never had any control over anybody...There's never been any violence from me.

– Iftikhar Ahmed

Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending Mrs Ahmed, asked Mr Ahmed if he had told his wife, "if she cared for her dear life and that of her children" she would not ask him about Shafilea again.

Mr Ahmed said: "That question never was asked and I never said anything like that."

Mr Hussain accused Mr Ahmed of being a violent and controlling man who had "absolute control" of his family "until very very recently."

Farzana Ahmed claims her husband threatened her after beating Shafilea. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

"I have never had any control over anybody," Mr Ahmed replied, later adding: "There's never been any violence from me."

The trial heard earlier Shafilea became ill on a trip to Pakistan before she died after drinking bleach. Mr Ahmed said his daughter drank it by accident because she thought it was mouthwash.

The prosecution claim Shafilea was killed because of her desire to lead a westernised lifestyle. Credit: PA

Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, put it to him: "Have you ever swallowed bleach for any reason? It's not the sort of thing that happens by accident is it?"

Mr Ahmed replied: "It has been known."

Mr Ahmed also denied there was an arranged marriage in place for Shafilea in Pakistan and told the court his family was completely peaceful.

The court heard Shafilea contacted social services about her father before she disappeared in September 2003.

The teenager's body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February.

The trial continues.

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