THE family of murdered Sabira Alam told a court how they frantically tried to find her after she failed to return home.
The three sisters and parents of the 20-year-old said they tried for days to contact her before being given devastating news on April 5 that her body had been found on the moors.
Naveed Naeem, 30, of New Street, Milnsbridge denies killing her.
A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard that the last time most of the former beauty student’s family saw her alive was on the evening of April 1 at their home at Vernon Avenue, Greenhead Park.
Sabira’s sisters told the court they thought she had got ready to go out to the cinema with her boyfriend, Naeem.
Her parents went to bed as they didn’t know she was seeing him.
The family left the home the following day as usual assuming that Sabira was still in bed, but when she failed to show that evening they grew worried.
Eldest sister Aneesa Alam, a mental health nurse, said: “I tried ringing her but her phone kept going to voicemail.
“I was becoming increasingly worried because even if she doesn’t answer her phone it is always switched on.”
Mum Shagufta Parveen, who works at the family business Ripponden News and Post Office, described in a statement how she became increasingly distressed when her daughter didn’t come home.
Mrs Parveen, who described Sabira as ‘very friendly’, said: “That night I couldn’t sleep, I thought maybe she had stayed out because she was frightened to return home.”
On April 3, Sabira’s family reported her missing to police.
Mrs Parveen added: “I was extremely upset at the thought of someone taking her by force. It was not like Sabira go missing for this long.”
The family described how they put up posters of Sabira and contacted local hospitals, believing that she may have been in an accident.
But two days later they were told by police that she had been found strangled on moors at Buckstones, Scammonden.
One of Sabira’s sisters told jurors that in a bid to find Sabira she called Naeem.
Sadia Alam, postmistress at her parent’s store, said: “He wouldn’t answer his phone, but then I spoke to him a couple of times.
“He said he didn’t believe she’d gone missing.”
She described Naeem as ‘possessive’ of her sister and wanting her attention all of the time, but admitted under cross-examination she regarded him as ‘nice’.
Aneesa told the court that the couple’s relationship had begun to break down in the six months before her death, after Naeem hit Sabira when in the Iceland supermarket in Huddersfield.
She said: “They were getting into arguments all the time, she wasn’t very happy.
“Then he tried to snatch her phone off her and when she wouldn’t let her he hit her and she fell to the floor.
“They kept splitting up and getting back together.”
Dawn Brown, manager of Textiles Direct based in the Packhorse shopping centre, told how she was forced to sack Sabira from her job there.
She said she would arrive at work late and that Naeem would come in and refuse to leave Sabira and let her work.
The jury was also told that Naeem had had his mental state assessed when he attended A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on March 27 having attempted to harm himself.
He told medics he was having family problems but refused further assessments.
The trial continues.