Shafilea Ahmed Murder: Teenager Weighed Five Stone After Drinking Bleach, Court Hears

PA/The Huffington Post UK  |  Posted: Updated: 23/05/2012 14:33

Shafilea Ahmed
Shafilea Ahmed's decomposed body was found in 2004

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 on Wednesday.

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.

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.

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.

shafilea ahmed

Shafilea Ahmed's parents, Iftikhar and Farzana, are accused of her murder

"(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.

They all ran outside where Shafilea was holding her stomach and there was a bottle of bleach on the floor with the lid still off.

The court heard that when Shafilea came out of hospital, her parents told her she could not go back to Great Sankey High School because they believed that was where the "trouble" started in the first place.

Shafilea's decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004 but it was not until 2010 that her sister Alesha provided the "final piece of the puzzle" about her death, the court has heard.

Mr Edis told the jury that Alesha was arrested in 2010 for being involved in a robbery at her parents' home, in which three masked men tied up her mother, two sisters and brother.

Six days later she alleged to police that her parents killed Shafilea, he said.

Mr Edis told the jury Alesha was either telling the truth about the death of her sister "which she has kept under wraps for years for reasons of family loyalty" or for other reasons because her relationship with her parents "became toxic".

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