Muslim girl allegedly killed by her parents was just five stone – sister
SHAFILEA Ahmed's weight plunged to just five stone after she drank bleach in fear she was going to be left in Pakistan by her family, her sister told a court today. Alesha Ahmed was giving evidence in the trial of parents Iftikhar and Farzana, accused at Chester Crown Court of killing 17-year-old Shafilea at the family home in September 2003.
The alleged murder was witnessed by Alesha, then aged 15, who kept the secret for seven years, the jury has been told.
The parents, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, Cheshire, deny murder.
Asked about events leading up Shafilea's disappearance, Alesha, now 23, told the court about the family's trip to see relatives in Pakistan in early 2003.
She said the visit had been marked by discussions of marriage proposals for Shafilea and suggestions that the teenager would not be allowed to return home.
Alesha also said that after Iftikhar, 52, returned to the UK, Shafilea and their mother Farzana, 49, argued when the teenager was seen out of the house without wearing a shawl.
Describing the incident soon afterwards, in which Shafilea drank bleach, Alesha said it was a reaction to fears that she would be left behind in Pakistan.
"There was a general conversation and a remark was made to Shafilea which I think triggered her drinking the bleach," the witness said.
"(My mum) said something along the lines of Shafilea will be staying there and not going back.
"It was done in a humorous way but obviously it was very serious as other people were present."
Shafilea then went to the outside bathroom, Alesha said, and a few minutes later everybody heard a scream. (...)