Shafilea inquiry 'destroyed family'

Iftikhar Ahmed denies murdering his daughter Shafilea

Iftikhar Ahmed denies murdering his daughter Shafilea

First published in National News © by

A father has denied murdering his daughter and said the inquiry into the killing has "totally destroyed" his family.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, have been on trial at Chester Crown Court for eight weeks charged with killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.

Mrs Ahmed has always denied murder, but this week 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.

She also claimed he had threatened to do the same to her and their other children if she ever asked him what had happened to Shafilea.

But Ahmed denied ever hurting his daughter or having anything to do with the murder.

Tom Bayliss QC, defending, asked the defendant: "What's it like to stand there accused of murdering your own daughter?"

Ahmed said: "I can't believe it. It's devastating."

"What's it done to your family?" Mr Bayliss asked.

He replied: "It has actually destroyed my family, totally."

When he was asked how he felt when his daughter's body was found, he struggled to respond, before adding in a strained voice: "We couldn't believe it when we heard." Shafilea disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February.

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