Sat August 4, 2012 7:07am
A BRITISH court has found a Pakistani-born couple guilty of murdering their "westernised" teenage daughter in an apparent honour killing.
Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, were told at Chester Crown Court in Cheshire, north-west England, that they would serve a minimum of 25 years each after suffocating their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea in 2003.
In a high-profile case, Shafilea's sister Alesha had told the jury that her mother had said, "Just finish it here," as they forced a plastic bag into Shafilea's mouth in front of their other children.
Prosecutors said the Ahmeds, who lived in the town of Warrington, near Chester, killed their daughter because they felt her "western" habits such as wearing make-up and talking to boys brought shame on the family.
Passing sentence, judge Roderick Evans told the pair: "Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child.
"Shafilea was a determined, able and ambitious girl who wanted to live a life which was normal in the country and in the town in which you had chosen to live," he said.
"You could not tolerate the life that Shafilea wanted to live. You wanted your family to live in Pakistan in Warrington.
"She 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 on her."
Iftikhar Ahmed stood impassively as the sentence was passed, while his wife sobbed.
The jury had unanimously found them guilty earlier on Friday after 11 hours of deliberation.
Shafilea had disappeared in September 2003, and her body was found five months later on a riverbank in Cumbria, north-west England.
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