Developing

Dead Teen's Tearful Sister Recounts Killing

The sister of killed teen Shafelia Ahmed has sobbed as she described to a jury how her parents murdered their daughter.

During a second day of evidence at Chester Crown Court, Alesha Ahmed spoke from behind a curtain so she could not see her mother and father, who are accused of murdering her 17-year-old sibling.

Shafilea's badly decomposed remains were found near a Cumbrian river in February 2004.

Ms Ahmed told the court there had been an argument over what Shafelia was wearing and that her mother had said to her father "just finish it here".

She said her parents grabbed a plastic bag and put it in Shafelia's mouth then put their hands over it.

Ms Ahmed wept as she described how her parents held Shafelia down and said her sister was kicking her legs.

She said she could see her sister's eyes, which were "open really wide".

"You can just tell she was just gasping for air," she said.

"She wet herself because she was struggling so much".

Barely able to speak through her tears Alesha said "that was it. She was gone".

Ms Ahmed said her parents continued to hold Shafelia down for 30 seconds after she stopped struggling.

She described how her father then pulled her from the settee into the floor and "punched her in the chest for no reason".

Ms Ahmed told the jury she was "frozen in shock". She said later she saw her father carrying something out the door.

Then, she said, her mother told her "your sister's run away again."

Alesha earlier told the court how her sister drank bleach while staying in Pakistan because her mother had said she would not be going back to the UK.

Ms Ahmed told police she saw her parents suffocate her older sister at the family's home in Warrington in September 2003.

Taxi driver Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, both deny killing their daughter.

Ms Ahmed said during a family trip to Pakistan in February and March of 2003, Shafilea had been getting proposals of marriage from men she did not know.

She told the court her sister "was just not interested at all".

Ms Ahmed, who is now 23, said a comment made by their mother that Shafilea would be staying in Pakistan and not returning to the UK "triggered" her sister to drink bleach.

She described how members of their family had been in one room because there was a power cut, and Shafilea had gone to the bathroom.

She said Shafilea was screaming and everyone was panicking, while the bottle of bleach was lying on the bathroom floor with the lid off.

Ms Ahmed said her mother was there but did not call for help.

She told the court her mother "had a very distinct look. Like she was thinking, 'it's better that she's done it herself'."

Ms Ahmed said Shafilea was taken to hospital, where her mother told her she had "made a scene and brought shame and she should say it's a mistake... That she was supposed to drink mouthwash but because it was dark she drank bleach instead."

Shafilea was eventually flown back to the UK because she was very ill, the court heard.

The teenager spent three months in hospital in Warrington and her weight fell to just 5st (31kg) because she was unable to eat, Ms Ahmed said.

The court was told that Shafilea had wanted to return to her college after she left hospital, but her parents said she should "stay away from that because it was the reason for her not conforming to their way in the first place".

Ms Ahmed was then asked about the day she says she saw her parents murder Shafilea.

She said her sister had been attending a different college and when she was picked up by her family she was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and white trousers.

Ms Ahmed told the court how her mother had been angry because other Asians had seen Shafilea dressed in that way. The trial continues.