Shafilea Ahmed murder trial: Father 'punched daughter'

Shafilea Ahmed
Image caption Shafilea's body was found in Cumbria in February 2004

The mother of Shafilea Ahmed has told a court she saw her husband attack their daughter on the night she disappeared.

Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, both deny murdering the 17-year-old at their Warrington home.

Describing the night of 11 September 2003, Mrs Ahmed told Chester Crown Court: "My husband was hitting Shafilea. He punched her twice".

Shafilea's body was found in Cumbria in February 2004.

'Done so much'

Questioned about her husband's behaviour on the night by Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending, Mrs Ahmed said she had never seen him so angry.

She said she tried to intervene but Mr Ahmed pushed and punched her.

Mrs Ahmed said she left the room and 25 minutes later she heard the engine being started.

She said Mr Ahmed was missing until early the next morning.

She asked him where he had been and where was Shafilea.

"He said 'if you care about your life and your children's lives, [you will] not ask me this question ever again'."

'I want justice'

Mrs Ahmed said she was frightened of her husband and said he had beaten her throughout their marriage.

During cross-examination by the prosecution she told the court she came to the conclusion "a week or so" after the incident she thought "he probably had killed her".

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, asked: "So for several years you brought up your three daughters with a man who you thought had killed their sister?"

She replied she had no choice and that Mr Ahmed could have killed her and the other children.

Tom Bayliss QC who is defending Ahmed, put it to her she was frightened of being convicted for murder and "trying to fit a story... and blame your husband falsely".

Mrs Ahmed told the court: "I'm telling the truth. I want justice for my daughter.

"Whatever lies my husband has told are his business."

Shafilea's body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004.

The prosecution alleges Shafilea was killed by her parents because they thought she had brought shame on the family through her desire to lead a westernised lifestyle.

The trial continues.

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