'Honour killing' sister charged with robbery

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The Independent Online

The sister of suspected honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed has been charged with a robbery at her home.

Three men broke into the dead teenager's family home in Warrington, Cheshire, on August 25, and tied up her mother Faranza and four of her adult children.

Shafilea's father Iftikhar was out of the house at the time.

The thieves ransacked the house before fleeing with a quantity of cash and jewellery.

The victims managed to free themselves and call police.

Shortly afterwards, Alisha Ahmed, 22, the younger sister of Shafilea, was arrested in connection with the incident and bailed pending further inquiries.

She was charged with robbery on Tuesday, Cheshire Police said.

A spokeswoman said: "Police investigating a robbery which occurred at a house in Liverpool Road, Great Sankey, have charged a 22-year-old woman with robbery.

"The woman was bailed to appear at Warrington Magistrates' Court on January 4.

"Inquiries remain ongoing to identify the outstanding offenders."

The decomposed remains of Shafilea were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004.

The 17-year-old had disappeared from her home five months earlier, sparking a major police search.

A few months before, Shafilea had refused an arranged marriage and, during a visit to Pakistan to meet a prospective husband, had drunk bleach.

Police initially suspected she had been the victim of an honour killing and arrested and questioned her parents and other relatives on suspicion of kidnapping.

The Crown Prosecution Service later concluded there was insufficient evidence.

South Cumbria coroner Ian Smith returned a verdict of unlawful killing, saying he believed that the teenager was probably murdered.

Taxi driver Mr Ahmed and his wife have vigorously denied any involvement in their daughter's death and said they planned to challenge the coroner's verdict.