1. ITV Report

Parents on trial for daughter's murder

Murdered teenaged Shafilea Ahmed Photo: ITV Border

Alesha Ahmed told a family friend her sister Shafilea was "stabbed" by their father and the body was "in pieces", a jury heard.

Shafilea's parents Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, deny murdering the 17-year-old by suffocating her at the family home in September 2003. The teenager's decomposed remains were discovered in the River Kent near Sedgwick in February 2004 but it was not until 2010 that Alesha came forward to police to accuse her parents. Sehreen Shafaat, 22, a close friend of the Ahmed children, said Alesha told her that Mr Ahmed stabbed Shafilea. Law graduate Miss Shafaat, a trainee barrister, told the jury she had know the family as a child and became close to the Ahmeds' other daughters Alesha and Mevish after Shafilea's death. They attended the same college and she would frequently socialise or study with them at their home, the jury heard. Following a study session, Miss Shafaat said she and Alesha were in her car when Miss Ahmed turned to her and said the family "were not getting on".

Earlier in the trial, Alesha Ahmed described how her parents pushed Shafilea on to the settee in their house and she heard her mother say "Just finish it here" in Urdu as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager's mouth and suffocated her in front of their other children.

Miss Shafaat, wearing a black headscarf, added:

"Alesha said there was no happiness and although the family looked happy on the outside, it wasn't happy on the inside."

– Sehreen Shafaat, family friend

The prosecution say that the couple murdered their "Westernised" daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family.