I lied to police in fear of husband, says Shafilea's mother


A woman accused of murdering her daughter because she brought shame on the family told a jury yesterday that she had lied to police because she was "frightened" of her husband who she said would beat her.

Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, of Warrington, who are on trial at Chester Crown Court, deny killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.

On day two of Mrs Ahmed's evidence she told the court she had witnessed her husband punching and slapping the teenager on the night of the alleged killing.

She claimed she had "never seen her husband so angry" and that she later followed his instructions on what to tell the police because he would beat her. She said she was scared about what he would do to the other children.

Mrs Ahmed, who spoke with the aid of an interpreter, also claimed that she had carried on believing that Shafilea was alive because of her "maternal instinct".

Mrs Ahmed has always denied murder, but earlier this month the jury of seven men and five women were told she had changed her account and said she witnessed her husband beating Shafilea on the night of the alleged murder.

The defendant wiped away tears from her eyes throughout her evidence. Mukhtar Hussain, QC, defending Mrs Ahmed, said that on the night of 11 September 2003, she had come downstairs to find her husband hitting Shafilea in the kitchen.

"He slapped her twice and he punched her twice," she said.

She said her daughter was crying, and that her husband said: "We have done so much for you and you are still messing about."

The case continues.