Shafilea Ahmed's sister denies making up 'wicked story'

Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed both deny murdering their daughter Photo: Martin Ricketts / PA Wire

Shafilea Ahmed's sister denied today that she invented a "wicked" story that the teenager was killed by her parents.

Alesha Ahmed told Chester Crown Court she was "torn" between her dead sister and her parents.

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

The teenager's decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004 but it was not until 2010 that Ms Ahmed provided the "final piece of the puzzle" about her death, the prosecution say.

Shafilea's decomposed body was found in Cumbria after she was reported missing

Ms Ahmed, now 23, disclosed that she witnessed the murder to her solicitor and a police officer while she was in custody after arranging a robbery at the Ahmed house, the court heard earlier.

During cross-examination today by Tom Bayliss QC, defending Mr Ahmed, the barrister said: "You knew you could buy yourself out of trouble by making up a wicked story about your parents."

Ms Ahmed, giving evidence from behind a screen, replied: "I don't think the police are stupid enough to go on a story if they haven't got any evidence."

The jury were told the robbery, on August 25 2010, saw up to four masked men burst into the house and search for money as Alesha, her mother, brother and sisters were inside.

Ms Ahmed has since pleaded guilty to her part in organising the incident.

Questioned by Mr Bayliss, Ms Ahmed admitted she lied during police interviews about the robbery.

But the police did not believe her story, he said.

He put it to Ms Ahmed that she then played her "trump card" in claiming that Shafilea was killed by their parents.

He added: "You decided to tell the police that your parents killed your sister and you did it to get yourself out of trouble."

Sobbing, Ms Ahmed replied: "It didn't get me out of any trouble.

"At the end of the day I was feeling really torn and I still do feel quite torn.

"It's not a win-win situation.

"I've got my sister who died on one side and my parents, who I care about, on the other."

Asked if she was torn because she was not telling the truth about what happened to Shafilea, Ms Ahmed replied: "I feel torn because they are my parents."

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

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

The court heard Alesha went out drinking on the day following the alleged murder, wearing her sister's "westernised" clothes.

Mr Bayliss said: "This idea that your parents were so intolerant and you were never allowed to go out and wear western clothes is really not true is it?"

She responded: "I have just explained where the clothes came from."

Mr Bayliss said: "If you had seen your parents killing your sister the day before you would not have dared go out drinking, would you?"

Alesha said: "That's why I went out. Because of what I had seen."

Mr Bayliss put it to Alesha that her sister had simply "gone missing again".

She responded: "No."

Mr Bayliss also put it to Alesha that it was Shafilea's decision to leave Great Sankey High School in favour of Priestley Sixth Form College and not, as has been suggested by the prosecution, that she was forced to leave by her parents.

Alesha said: "No. She had no choice but to go to that college."

The trial was adjourned to tomorrow.