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11 July 2012, 12:29
A man from Warrington accused of murdering his daughter because he believed she had brought shame on his family broke down in court as he denied killing her.
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 now Ahmed has denied ever hurting his daughter or having anything to do with the murder.
Asked by Tom Bayliss QC, defending: "Have you ever caused any harm to your daughter Shafilea?'', Ahmed said: "No.'' When Mr Bayliss said: "Were you responsible for the death of your daughter?'' he replied: "No.''
He added: "We were devastated to find out that she had left home in the first place.'' Shafilea disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February.
The prosecution claim she was killed by her parents because she brought shame on the family by her desire to lead a westernised lifestyle.