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16 November 2012, 09:48
The sister of murdered Warrington teenager Shafilea Ahmed has been sentenced for organizing a robbery at her parent’s house.
When Alesha Ahmed was arrested it ultimately led to the conviction of her parents, Iftikhar and Farzana, for murdering their eldest daughter.
During questioning at a police station, 23 year old Alesha, revealed that she and her siblings had witnessed Shafilea's murder seven years earlier.
The 17 year old vanished in August 2003 and her decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004 but it was not until Alesha's statement, in August 2010, that police had enough evidence to charge the parents.
During their trial at Chester Crown Court, Alesha told the jury her parents pushed Shafilea onto the settee in their house and she heard her mother say “just finish it here” as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager's mouth and killed her in front of their other children.
The prosecution said they killed their “Westernised” daughter because they thought her behaviour was bringing shame on the family.
Taxi driver 52 year old Iftikhar, and Farzana, 49, denied murder but were convicted by a jury on August 2 this year.
Mr Justice Roderick Evans jailed both of them for 25 years, saying: “Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than your love of your child.”
Farzana Ahmed is seeking to overturn her conviction.
Alesha pleaded guilty to the robbery in April 2011 but was sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court to a 12-month suspended prison.
Three men broke into the family home in Liverpool Road, Warrington, Cheshire, the previous August and tied up mother Farzana and four of her children. The thieves were armed with a gun, a hammer and iron bar and ransacked the property before fleeing with cash and jewellery, the parent's trial was told.