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Shafilea allegations tissue of lies – dad
A father accused of murdering his “Westernised” Bradford-born daughter has told a jury she was lying when she complained of violence and being forced into marriage.
Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, was giving evidence yesterday for a third day at Chester Crown Court where he is accused with his wife Farzana, 49, of killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in September 2003.
Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, read to the jury Shafilea’s application for emergency accommodation after she ran away from home that February.
Under the heading, Reasons for leaving home, Shafilea, whose 26th birthday would have been today, said: “Forced into arranged marriage in Pakistan.”
Mr Edis said that under the heading Nature and incidents of violence, Shafilea added: “Regular incidents since I was 15 or 16. One parent would hold me while the other hit me.
“I was prevented from attending college and my part-time job. I’m scared of going back to my parents and frightened enough to flee my home.”
Mr Edis said to taxi driver Ahmed: “That’s a tissue of lies, according to you, isn’t it?”
The defendant said: “Yes.”
The barrister continued with Shafilea’s statement, in which she said: “There has been a build-up to the violence towards me and my mother told me I was about to go to Pakistan for an arranged marriage and my mother had begun to pack.
“My parents had been into school and told my teachers I would be absent and going to Pakistan. My teachers have approached my parents in the past about preventing me from going to school and tried to get social services involved.”
Mr Edis said: “Shafilea feared she was going to be married off, that’s her perception isn’t it?”
Ahmed said: “We had no knowledge of this. This paperwork Shafilea filled in, what she’s put down was not true.”
The barrister went on: “Why would she want alternative accommodation from a loving and caring family home?”
Ahmed replied: “If it was her perception that she was going to be married off, that’s her perception.
“If she did mention it (to us) we would have told her there was no such thing and when she did mention it we assured her there was no such thing.”
Shafilea’s decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004. The couple, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, allegedly murdered their daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, the prosecution say.
They deny the allegation.
Earlier this week Mrs Ahmed, who has yet to give evidence, changed her defence and gave the jury a new account claiming she witnessed her husband beat Shafilea on the night of the alleged murder.
The trial continues.