Jury out in Shafilea Ahmed 'honour killing' murder trial


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The Independent Online

A jury has begun considering its verdicts in the trial of a couple accused of murdering of their daughter because they believed she brought “shame on the family”.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, Cheshire, are alleged to have suffocated their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea with a plastic bag.

The teenager disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February.

The prosecution at Chester Crown Court claims Shafilea was killed by her parents because she brought shame on the family by her desire to lead a "westernised" lifestyle.

The 10-week trial heard evidence from Shafilea's sister Alesha, who claimed that she and the rest of her siblings witnessed the murder at the family home.

Taxi driver Mr Ahmed denies murder, saying Shafilea ran away from home in the middle of the night and he never saw her again.

Mrs Ahmed also denies murder but told the told the jury she saw her husband beat her eldest child and she believes he killed her.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans sent the seven men and five women of the jury out to begin their deliberations shortly before 11.10am.

The jury was sent home for the night and will return to continue its deliberations at 2pm tomorrow