Shafilea Ahmed's mother changes murder defence and accuses witnessing husband attack daughter

 

The mother of alleged honour-killing victim Shafilea Ahmed dramatically changed her defence today claiming she witnessed her husband attacking their daughter.

Farzana Ahmed, 49, denies murdering the 17-year-old at their home in Warrington, Cheshire in September 2003.

But in what the judge at Chester Crown Court described as a “significant development” in the eight week trial Mrs Ahmed now alleges that Shafilea’s father – who also denies murder - committed an “incident of violence” against the youngster and attacked his wife when tried to intervene.

However she also claims that she believed her daughter was “safe” after being taken away by Mr Ahmed following the attack. The couple have until now both denied any knowledge of their daughter’s killing.

Henry Riding for the prosecution said Mrs Ahmed’s new defence statement describes how she came downstairs at around 9.30pm on 11 September to discover Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, punching the teenager with a clenched fist.

It alleges Mr Ahmed was "very angry" and was hitting and slapping Shafilea around the face. When she attempted to end the violence Mrs Ahmed was told to “shut up”. In her statement she claims she was pushed away and “punched with a clenched fist”.

Mrs Ahmed also alleges their other daughter Mevish was present and witnessed what happened – contradicting previous evidence. She said she was “scared” and "anticipated" that she could also be harmed by her husband, deciding to take Mevish upstairs and stay with the other children in a bedroom, it was claimed.

When she went back downstairs 20 minutes later Shafilea and her husband were gone, Mr Riding said.

When he returned she claims she asked him where Shafilea was. He replied: "If you care for your dear life and that of your children don't ever ask me this question again,” the court heard.

Mrs Ahmed now alleges she asked the same question of her husband "one or two days later",

Mr Riding said she claims he responded saying: "I have already told you once before, I don't know where she is. I have also told you not to ask me that question again."

She also alleges that her husband told her that if she spoke to anyone or told anyone anything that he would "do the same to our other children and to you".

The statement concludes with Mrs Ahmed saying she believed her husband had taken Shafilea "somewhere" and that "she was safe".

The prosecution claims Shafilea repeatedly clashed with her parents over her Westernised lifestyle. The court heard she became seriously ill after drinking bleach during a family trip to Pakistan.

She disappeared in September 2003 on hr retrun to Britain and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February.

Earlier in the trial the jury heard claims by the Ahmed’s other daughter Alesha that she witnessed her parents pushing her older sister onto a settee and suffocating her. She claimed her mother said “just finish it here”.

In other evidence Mevish Ahmed told the court that letters given to a friend in 2008 in which she apparently described the fatal attack were works of fiction.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday when the prosecution case will conclude.

Suggested Topics
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
News
people
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil