For nearly a decade, they kept up the sham that they were grieving parents whose beautiful daughter had been kidnapped. In reality, Farzana and Iftikhar Ahmed were killers who murdered 17-year-old Shafilea because she simply wouldn't conform to the values of 'rural Pakistan' – and then terrorised the rest of their family into a sickening nine-year cover-up. Indeed, the killers were exposed only after Shafilea's younger sister plucked up the courage to tell how she and her siblings watched themsuffocate her in 2003. Mr Justice Roderick Evans said 'You chose to bring up your family in Warrington but your social and cultural attitudes were those of rural Pakistan.' 'Shafilea was a determined, able and ambitious girl who wanted to live a life which was normal in the country in which you had chosen to live and bring up your children. However, you could not tolerate the life that Shafilea wanted to live.' He said the fact her siblings witnessed the murder was 'a truly horrifying feature' of the case which had 'blighted' their lives too. He ordered both Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his 49-year-old wife to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Yesterday, at the end of the ten-week trial, Mrs Ahmed wept as she was found guilty, while her taxi driver husband grimaced then uttered an obscenity at detectives. 'On the evening of 11th September 2003 you berated her for her behaviour and in temper and frustration you two suffocated her. It was you, Farzana Ahmed, who said to your husband: 'Finish it here'. 'In order to rid yourselves of that problem, you killed Shafilea by suffocating her in the presence of your other four children. 'You killed one daughter, but you have blighted the lives of your remaining children. 'Alesha escaped but she is unlikely to be able to avoid the legacy of her upbringing.' The 11-week trial became a showdown that pitted sibling against sibling and parent against parent. But In the end it was not forensics or a high tech bugging device which convicted Ahmed and his wife, Farzana, it was a simple question for the jury of who to believe.
Shafilea's sister, Alesha, 23, whose testimony was key in convicting her parents, sensationally told the court that she and the rest of her siblings witnessed the murder at the family home. But Taxi driver Mr Ahmed always denied murder, saying Shafilea ran away from home in the middle of the night and he never saw her again. Mrs Ahmed also denied murder but told the jury she saw her husband beat her eldest child and that she believed he killed her. Growing up in the UK, she liked the taste of freedom.
Some readers comments.
If they are so loyal to their family in Pakistan then perhaps they should go back there and save us the cost of locking them up for the next 20 years.
- Steve Goodwin, Reigate, Mozamabique
So wanting to be 'westernised' brings shame on the family, but murdering her does not????
- phil, skegvegas
To EVERYONE who objects to a "westernised" way of life, the answer is simple do not live in the western world!!!!!!
- Mark, Sutton Coldfield
When will these people realise that if you come and live in the United Kingdom, you abide by the laws and freedoms of the land. You leave your own laws and odd bagge behind. You cannot, and must not attempt to rule your children in laws and ways that are alien to the society in which they were born in to, live with and wish to spend the rest of their lives in.
- BG, Bristol
Read more: Shafilea Ahmed murder trial latest: Parents found guilty of killing 'Westernised' daughter jailed for life | Mail Online