A woman accused of murdering her daughter because she brought shame on the family today told a jury she lied to police because she was “frightened” of her husband who she said would beat her.
Farzana Ahmed, 49, and her husband Iftikhar, 52, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, are on trial at Chester Crown Court charged with killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.
On day two of Mrs Ahmed’s evidence she told the court that she had witnessed her husband punching and slapping the teenager on the night of the alleged killing.
She claimed she had “never seen her husband so angry” and that she later followed his instructions on what to tell the police because he would beat her and she was scared what he would do to the other children.
Mrs Ahmed, who spoke with the aid of an interpreter, also claimed that she carried on believing that Shafilea was alive because of her “maternal instinct”.
Mrs Ahmed has always denied murder, but earlier this month the jury of seven men and five women were told she had changed her account and said she witnessed her husband beat Shafilea on the night of the alleged murder.
The defendant, wearing a grey patterned head scarf and black cardigan, wiped tears away from her eyes throughout her evidence.
Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending Mrs Ahmed, on the night of September 11, 2003, she had come downstairs to find her husband hitting Shafilea in the kitchen.
”He slapped her twice and he punched her twice,” she said.
She said her daughter was not screaming but was crying, and that her husband said: “We have done so much for you and you are still messing about.”
The defendant claimed she asked her husband what their daughter had done and he replied: “Had you been educated you would have known what she was doing.”
The Ahmeds’ youngest daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wiped tears from her eyes as she listened to her mother from the public gallery.
Mrs Ahmed said she tried to stop her husband but he punched her.
”He was very angry. I have never seen him so angry. I have seen him angry before but not like this,” she said.