Shafilea mother reveals 'violence'

A father accused of murdering his daughter also threatened to kill his wife and other children if his spouse revealed the truth, a court has heard.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, stand accused of murdering their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea at their Cheshire home in September 2003.

The couple, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, have been on trial at Chester Crown Court for the last eight weeks and have continually denied any knowledge of her murder.

But, in a dramatic twist, Mrs Ahmed changed her defence case and admitted that an "incident of violence" towards Shafilea did occur in the family home on September 11 2003 - an allegation she has previously denied.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the jury the new defence case statement from Mrs Ahmed alleges that she came downstairs to discover her husband attacking Shafilea at around 9.30pm.

She says her husband was "very angry" and was hitting and slapping Shafilea around the face. Mrs Ahmed claims she tried to intervene but was told to "shut up".

She says she tried to "protect" her daughter but was pushed away and then "punched with a clenched fist".

Mrs Ahmed says only one other child - Mevish Ahmed - was there to see what was happening and she "anticipated" that she could also be harmed by her husband, so she took her upstairs and stayed with the other children in a bedroom.

Mrs Ahmed says she was "extremely scared" and stayed in the room for some 20 minutes when she heard a car leaving. When she went back downstairs Shafilea and her husband were gone.

When Mr Ahmed returned she claims she asked him where Shafilea was, and he responded: "If you care for your dear life and that of your children, don't ever ask me this question again."