Man who beat wife with cricket bat misled the court

By Lenore Rice

A man who beat his wife with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach has now been sentenced to 18 months in prison, after originally receiving a suspended sentence.

Mustafa Bashir, aged 34, had admitted assaulting his wife Fakhara Karim, aged 33, but had told the court that he had received a job offer as a professional cricketer, and a prison sentence would jeopardise the opportunity. Manchester Crown Court had given him a suspended sentence, but the court subsequently learned that Mr Bashir had not been offered a contract. The decision was ordered to be reviewed and Mr Bashir was found to have misled the court. He was given a sentence of 18 months in prison.

The original sentence drew criticism for both its leniency and the comments made in respect of the 'vulnerability' of the victim Fakhara Karim. She had been made to swallow pills and bleach, and was beaten with a cricket bat, but Judge Mansell did not consider her to be a vulnerable person because she was "an intelligent woman with a network of friends and did go on to graduate university with a 2:1 and a masters." Those comments were criticised by Sandra Horley of Refuge, who said that "what a woman does for a job, her level of education or the number of friends she has makes no difference". She added that "for any woman, domestic violence is a devastating crime that has severe and long-lasting impacts."

The Crown Court has the power to review a decision within 56 days. It exercised the power when Leicestershire County Cricket Club made contact to advise that they had not made any offer of a contract to Mr Bashir. The club's chief executive, Wasim Khan, spoke of their commitment "to the White Ribbon campaign set up to tackle domestic violence, so were horrified at being used as a means for someone who had been convicted of appalling violence to his wife to escape imprisonment."

If you require legal advice from a solicitor specialising in domestic violence issues in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.