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Shafilea Ahmed's mother appears in court accused of her murder

A mother accused of murdering her daughter because she brought shame on the family denied her murder.

Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, are on trial at Chester Crown Court charged with killing her daughter in 2003.

The court heard yesterday from Mrs Ahmed who spoke with the aid of an interpreter.

She denies the charge. The trial continues.


Shafilea's sister gives evidence

The youngest sister of the teenager Shafilea Ahmed has rejected the suggestion that she was coached by her parents, into denying that they committed murder. Shafilea was found dead on the banks of the river Kent in Cumbria in 2003.

The sister is sixteen and can't be named for legal reasons. She has been giving evidence behind a screen at the trial of Shafilea's parents, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed, who are accused of murder.

Shafilea Ahmed's youngest sister gives evidence

The youngest sister of Shafilea Ahmed has told the court she's never seen her parents hurt her sister. The 16 year old - who can't be named for legal reasons - denied her father had told her what to say, and that she had now turned on her mother because she had changed her evidence.

Both parents deny murdering their daughter whose body was found by a Cumbrian river in 2004.

Elaine Willcox sent this report from Chester Crown Court.

Shafilea's sister continues to give evidence

Shafilea Ahmed Credit: ITV Border

Shafilea Ahmed's sister has told a jury her parents played no part in the teenager's death.

Mevish Ahmed, 21, was giving evidence for a third day in the trial of parents Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49.

They who are accused of murdering 17-year-old Shafilea at home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

Cross-examined by Tom Bayliss QC, defending taxi driver Mr Ahmed, his daughter said she stood by her statements to police in December 2003, when Shafilea was missing.

Mevish Ahmed Credit: ITV Border

Mr Bayliss said: "The police officer asked you did you think your mum and dad were involved in Shafilea's disappearance and could they be involved in any way.

"The 12-year-old you said no, what does the 21-year-old you say?"

Miss Ahmed replied: "No, still."

"And they weren't were they?," Mr Bayliss went on.

"No," Miss Ahmed, a personal loans advisor for a large bank, said.

The body of Shafilea, 17, was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004.

Another sister, Alesha, 23, earlier told Chester Crown Court the 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.

The jury has also seen extracts of writings made by Miss Ahmed and given to a friend, Shahin Munir, which appeared to corroborate Alesha's accusation.

Miss Ahmed has described the documents as "free writing" and said they were all pieces of "fiction".

Asked how she felt about the writings appearing to implicate her parents, Miss Ahmed said: "I feel like they are being blamed for something they have not done.

"I couldn't live with myself if, and obviously (the writings) have been taken out of context, they went down for something they didn't do.

"My sister's killer is still out there.

"I'm sorry that I wrote this, it was just a story and I did not think it would be taken out of context."

The couple, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, deny murder.

Shafilea's sister admits being involved in drugs

The trial against the parents of Shafilea Ahemd who deny her murder, have been hearing from Shafilea's younger sister Mevish Ahmed.Mevish has told the court if her parents had done something wrong 'I would not sit here and cover for them. I would admit it.'

She has also said that her and her sister Alesha sold drugs to make money. She's admitted she took cocaine.


Shafilea Ahmed trial: Mevish Ahmed denies intimidating witnesses

The younger sister of teenager Shafilea Ahmed has denied that she made silent phone calls to intimidate a potential witness at the trial of her parents.

Under cross examination, Mevish Ahmed said the phone calls, which were made to a friend last week, were all a joke.

The body of 17-year-old Shafilea was found on a riverbank near Kendal in 2004. Her parents - Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed - both deny her murder.

Below is a full video report from Elaine Wilcox at Chester Crown Court

Shafilea Ahmed trial

Shafilea Ahmed Credit: ITV Border

The sister of murdered teenager Shafilea Ahmed has been giving evidence at Chester crown court.

The jury has heard that Mevish Ahmed gave a friend writings in which she spoke about "how her parents killed the teenager,"

Mevish Ahmed, 21, was giving evidence in the trial of parents Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, who deny murdering 17-year-old Shafilea at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.Cross-examined by Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution,

Miss Ahmed, who was 12 when her sister disappeared, described the papers as "free writing" and fiction.

The court heard they were written by Miss Ahmed in 2008 and given to her friend, Shahin Munir.

Mr Edis asked Miss Ahmed if she was aware that Ms Munir had given the police "the letters you wrote to her about your sister's death".

The witness said: "They are not letters about my sister's death, they are free writing. I write fiction, I write it quite a lot."

Earlier in the trial, Alesha Ahmed told the jury 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.

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

Shafilea's decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004 but it was not until 2010 that Alesha provided police with the "final piece of the puzzle" about her death, the trial has heard

Shafiea Ahmed trial: latest from Chester Crown Court

Shafilea Ahmed's sister's told a court her death had haunted her and she talked to police because she felt she was being forced down the same path with an arranged marriage.

Alesha Ahmed says she got three men to stage a robbery at the family home in Warrington in 2010 when her parents wouldn't give her money for University. She said she

"snapped. It was just hard living the way they wanted me to, or living on my own. Both were a struggle"

– Alesha Ahmed

She was arrested after the robbery and has pleaded guilty. Soon after she gave a statement to police saying her mother and father murdered Shafilea by suffocating her in 2003.

Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed deny murder. When questioned about why she has made the claim after all these years she siad:

"I think at that point I was really suffering with the family (and) the build-up to the robbery.

"It all got too much, and to be honest I think it was a relief more than anything to be able to tell someone finally."

"I think it was not until I went to uni I saw how wrong family life was.

"When you get used to something, it becomes normal and that's when I saw it wasn't normal, really.

"I think what happened to my sister was wrong but because it's your parents you think it's normal because you still love them.

"I think at uni I did feel the way my sister had - you want to fit in with everyone else but you are still being forced to live in a different way.

"I think that's what made me crack."

– Alesha Ahmed
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