From The Mirror, Sky News and
THE sister of a girl allegedly murdered for defying her strict Muslim parents told today why she turned them in. Alesha Ahmed said in court she finally informed police her mum and dad killed Shafilea, 17, seven years earlier because she feared she “was going down the same path”.
Alesha, 15 when Shafilea died, said she, too, was later pressured into an arranged marriage. Her parents planned to send her to Pakistan like her sister and Alesha said she finally “cracked” and blurted out the truth about the alleged honour killing.
Alesha, now 23, told the court she went to the police after going to university and living “like a Western student . . . When I went to university I saw how wrong our family life was. When you get used to something, it becomes normal.”
Ms Ahmed described how her relationship with her parents "completely broke down" when they found out she had refused a proposal of marriage. “It was someone who had seen me at a wedding and approached my family." She told the court she did not know the man, so she was not happy with it. She added that she had been choosing her own boyfriends.
The court heard she paid for university with loans, but later asked her parents for money, which they refused, and told her to go to Pakistan instead. Ms Ahmed then told the jury she was responsible for a robbery at her parents' home in August 2010.
Asked why, she said: "I think I just absolutely snapped. It was just hard, either living how they wanted me to live or living on my own. Both were a struggle."
She was asked what she hoped to get out of the robbery. "I don't really know," she replied. "I wasn't thinking properly."
The court heard that days after her arrest, she told police her parents had killed her sister.
Mr Edis asked: "Before you made that disclosure had any police officer told you it might help you in terms of the trouble you're in, in terms of the robbery?" She replied, "No". Mr Edis went on: "What was it that made you tell?"
She answered that she had "just had enough. . . My mental state wasn't very good, being between the two cultures and trying to please everyone. It just wasn't me anymore. I just had to let it out," she said.
The role of the younger brother in this is chilling. This is from the Daily Mail two days ago when Miss Ahmed was describing the night Shafilea died. Shafilea and her mother have just arrived home. An argument is in progress about Shafilea’s failure to wear a cardigan over her short sleeved shirt.
The mother then passed Shafilea's bags to her son to search for money and boys' numbers, which was normal practice.
After he found cash including a £20 note, the argument escalated, Alesha added, as the siblings plus their two younger sisters – aged 12 and seven – looked on.
Then, she told the jury: 'My mum said "Just finish it here" to my dad.' She said her mother had spoken the words in Urdu.
Miss Ahmed described how her sister died. Then:
She said the siblings were all crying and upset – apart from Junyade. 'My brother said to me and my sisters that she deserved it.'
Junyade was just 13.