Stabbed teenager Asha Muneer was raised as a Muslim girl in a traditional family but had rebelled against her parents’ wishes before she was murdered, a court heard.
The 18-year-old, pictured, was the only one in her family not to wear traditional Muslim dress and dated a string of boys in her teens which was unacceptable to her family, the jury was told.
The six men and six women heard Asha told a friend her uncle beat up one of her boyfriends who she was dating in the summer of 2007, causing her to slit her wrists and run away from home.
When the Highdown School pupil’s parents found out about an attack on her by defendant Gulamyr Akhter at Palmer Park in July 2009 where he punched and kicked her, she had said her parents told her not to tell the police.
Gulamyr has pleaded not guilty to Miss Muneer’s murder.
At Reading Crown Court this week, PC John Coogan told the court how he had spoken to Miss Muneer on July 15 last year regarding the incident in Palmer Park that day, but said the teenager had cut the interview short because she had said her parents had told her not to go to the police.
PC Coogan said: “She came from a very traditional family who did not approve of her having boyfriends. She told me she was the only one in her family who didn’t wear traditional dress and said that she feared being blamed for the assault by Gulamyr.
“In the end, she made her excuses and said she did not want to take the complaint any further.”
Chanda Kayumba, a friend of Miss Muneer’s from school, giving evidence in court described a night two days before her friend was stabbed when the pair had gone out drinking with two male friends and got stranded in the snow.
Miss Kayumba said: “Asha was really drunk and we had to hold her up. We went to another friend’s house because we couldn’t get a bus home and then Gulamyr was calling. He was calling again, and again, and again until I picked up the phone and told him Asha would not be meeting him that night.
“I did not speak to him again after that night. As far as I was aware, Asha was not seeing Gulamyr any more at that point.”
Miss Kayumba also told the court about how Miss Muneer’s parents were very strict but she said her friend was very strong-minded and often went against her parents’ wishes.
She said: “When Asha told me that her uncle had beat up Sanjay [sic], she was very depressed. She slit her wrists.”
Asked about another boyfriend, Ali Butt, Miss Kayumba said: “She had an argument with her family about Ali and she left home, she went to live with him and it caused a lot of issues in the family. They were very strict but he wasn’t very nice to her and he was deported. He was a stalker.”
The trial continues.
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