Shafilea teacher tell court of bruises ‘from beating’

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Shafilea Ahmed’s teacher saw injuries which the teenager claimed were caused in a “beating” from her parents, a court heard.

Joanne Code said Shafilea ran away from home and said she would not go back because “they are going to marry me off in Pakistan”.

The teenager’s parents, Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, deny murdering Shafilea at home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

Mrs Code, who taught Shafilea German at Great Sankey High School, told the jury at Chester Crown Court yesterday the teenager was a “very, very good student”.

She said: “She was a very quiet young lady who didn’t draw attention to herself but by the same token quite a gifted German student.”

Later, in September 2002, Mrs Code was head of sixth form when Shafilea began her A Levels.

The teacher said she was “always immaculately dressed, her hair was always straight, no make up on and her uniform was pristine.

“Shafilea was very, very clear she wanted to be a barrister – that was her dream, that was her ambition.

“She spoke really articulately about wanting to be a barrister and going into the field of law.

“She was exceptionally keen to go to university...she was adamant that was what she wanted to do.”

Little more than a month after she joined the sixth form, Shafilea was absent from school and Mrs Code telephoned the family home and spoke to Mr Ahmed. She told the jury she was “surprised” when he said Shafilea wanted to leave college and “burn her books”.

“It really did not stack up at all with the student that I knew and her aspirations for what she wanted to be,” she added.

The teacher asked to speak directly to Shafilea, who was put on the phone and told only to answer “yes” or “no”.

Mrs Code added: “I was concerned that if she said too much it might make life difficult for her. It was a very direct question I needed to ask her, I asked whether or not I needed to be worried about her welfare – which she replied ‘Yes’.”

The teacher asked for Mr Ahmed to return to the phone and informed him Shafilea needed to sign papers before she was allowed to leave her studies.

The next day the teenager returned to school and went to see Mrs Code.

“She came in and she had bruising to her neck and a cut on her lip,” the teacher said.

She added: “She told me her mother and father had beat her and that they had taken it in turns to do so while one held her down and then vice versa.

“She said it happened prior to being stopped coming into school (when) her parents had found out she had been texting boys.”

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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