Sister Of Killed Teen Breaks Down In Court

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6:43pm UK, Wednesday May 30, 2012

Mike McCarthy, North of England correspondent

The sister of killed teenager Shafilea Ahmed has broken down in tears during cross-examination in the murder trial of her parents.

Alesha Ahmed admitted she had repeatedly lied to police about a robbery at their house more than six years after 17-year-old Shafilea’s body was found dumped by a river in Cumbria.

She told the jury at Chester Crown Court she had arranged the robbery, but she denied accusing her parents of murder as a way of getting herself out of trouble.

Defence barrister Tom Bayliss QC told her: “You played your trump card. You decided to tell the police that your parents killed your sister and you did it to get yourself out of trouble.”

The 23-year-old witness, who is giving evidence from behind a screen, replied: “At the end of the day I was feeling torn and I still feel quite torn.

“It is not a win-win situation. I have got my sister who died on one side and my parents who I care about on the other.”

As Ms Ahmed started to cry, the barrister continued: “Torn because you were not telling the truth?”

:: See how the day’s events unfolded in court below:

She replied in tears: “I feel torn because they are my parents.”

Father Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and mother Farzana, 49, sat in the dock listening intently.

Earlier they had heard their daughter giving evidence under heavy questioning about her role in the robbery at their Warrington home in 2010.

Four men entered the house and tied up members of the family.

Mr Bayliss accused Shafilea’s sister of lying to police about her role in the crime and continuing to lie as she gave evidence under oath.

“You helped in the search of the house, didn’t you?” the lawyer asked.

She replied: “Not by choice but yes I did…I have been open and honest about this.”

Ms Ahmed replied “Yes” when the barrister asked: “Are you really saying you were open and honest… about a robbery?”

He went on to press Ms Ahmed for the names of the robbers.

She repeatedly refused saying she did not know them and “was not in a position” to answer the questions and talk about the case.

Mr Bayliss went on to suggest she had been caught “red-handed” and said: “You knew didn’t you that you could buy yourself out of trouble by making up a wicked story.”

She replied: “I think not. Made up? No. I think the police aren’t stupid enough to go on a story if they haven’t got evidence.”

The court has heard claims Mr and Mrs Ahmed murdered their daughter in 2003 after a long-running conflict about her relationship with boys and her apparent desire for a “Westernised” lifestyle.

They deny the charges. The trial continues.

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