Sister denies being coached by parents on Shafilea death

THE youngest child of a couple accused of murdering their teenage daughter has denied being coached by her parents about what to tell the police regarding her sister’s disappearance, a court has heard.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, both deny killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.

Yesterday, Chester Crown Court heard from their youngest child, who cannot be named for legal reasons and was giving evidence from behind a screen.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The jury was told that she was seven years old at the time of Shafilea’s murder and that she had told police her sister went to bed before her on the night in question.

Asked by Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, if she was told to say this, the witness responded: “Not that I know of, no.”

The witness repeatedly told Mr Edis that she could not remember many of the events of 2003.

Mr Edis asked her about conversations she had with her mother which were picked up by covert police recording devices.

In one conversation Mr Edis told the jury that Mrs Ahmed can be heard telling her youngest child not to say anything at school and if anyone asks about the disappearance of Shafilea to “act as though you don’t understand. Start talking about something else.”

She denied that either of her parents had ever been violent towards her and said she could not remember any violence directed towards Shafilea.

The witness appeared to become emotional when she was asked by Mr Edis if she knew that her elder sister had told her friends in 2003 that she had to return to the family home to “protect” her youngest sister.

Asked if she knew why she needed protecting, the witness said: “I don’t know.”

“What was happening to you in that house?” Mr Edis asked. “Nothing that I can remember,” she replied. He said: “Are you really being honest?” She said: “Yes.”

The trial continues.