Iftikar and Farzana Ahmed, who suffocated the 17 year-old in front of their four other children, were jailed for life after being found guilty of the 2003 honour killing of their ‘westernised’ daughter Shafilea.
They were told they would serve at least 25 years for killing their “determined” and “ambitious” daughter at their home in Warrington, Cheshire after she rejected a forced marriage in Pakistan.
While announcing the sentence Justice Roderick Evans, at Chester Crown Court, said the couple imposed their ‘cultural attitudes of rural Pakistan upon their children’.
“Although you lived in Warrington, your social and cultural attitudes were those of rural Pakistan and it was those you imposed upon your children, ” The Telegraph quoted the judge, as saying.
“She [Shafilea] was being squeezed between two cultures, the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose upon her,” the judge said.
“Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than your love of your child,” he added.
According to the paper, the couple were arrested in December 2003, but when detectives held a public appeal for information, the Ahmeds gatecrashed and protested their innocence.
Finally, in August 2010, police arrested Shafilea’s younger sister Alesha on suspicion of organising a robbery at the family home.
Alesha, who is now 21, told officers that she had seen her mother and father kill Shafilea.
The parents had often clashed Shafilea over her westernised lifestyle, and had objected to her wearing the same clothes as her white friends, rather than traditional Pakistani dress.
In 2003, she was allegedly forced to travel to Pakistan, where she was expected to marry a man more than ten years her senior.
In desperation Shafelia swallowed bleach badly burning her throat and causing the man to call off the marriage, declaring she was “damaged goods”. She returned to Britain but went missing from the family home in September 2003.