1. ITV Report

Shafilea Ahmed's parents jailed for 25 years for her murder

Iftikhar and Faranza Ahmed were both found guilty of murder at Chester Crown Court today Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Iftikhar and Faranza Ahmed have been jailed for life - with a minimum term of 25 years - after being found guilty of the murder of their daughter, Shafilea.

The couple believed their "Westernised" teenage daughter had brought shame on the family.

The trial heard that they suffocated the teenager with a plastic bag at the family home in Warrington in September 2003.

Trial judge Mr Justice Roderick Evans told them: "Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child."

The judge asked them: "What was it that brought you two, her parents, the people who had given her life, to the point of killing her?

ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:

"You chose to bring up your family in Warrington but although you lived in Warrington your social and cultural attitudes were those of rural Pakistan and it was those which you imposed upon your children.

"Shafilea was a determined, able and ambitious girl who wanted to live a life which was normal in the country and in the town in which you had chosen to live and bring up your children.

"However, you could not tolerate the life that Shafilea wanted to live. You wanted your family to live in Pakistan in Warrington."

Crying in the witness box, Alesha Ahmed told the trial her parents held a terrified Shafilea down on the settee in their living room as the plastic bag was forced into her mouth.

"You could tell she was gasping for air," she said before adding that Shafilea "wet herself because she was struggling so much".

Asked what happened next, she told the court: "That was it, she was gone."

Alesha went on to describe how the other children ran upstairs to their bedrooms in shock and she saw her father carry Shafilea's body to the car wrapped in a blanket.

The children were later told to say nothing to the authorities amid a fear that they would suffer the same fate as their sister. Shafilea's decomposed remains were discovered in the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004.

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