Mustafa Bashir sentenced to 18 months in prison after Leicestershire County Cricket Club job claim turns out to be false
A man who beat his wife with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach has been resentenced to 18 months after he avoided jail at an earlier hearing by falsely claiming to have a job offer as a professional cricketer.
Mustafa Bashir, 34, admitted assaulting Fakhara Karim, 33, but was initially given a suspended sentence at Manchester crown court after he said Leicestershire County Cricket Club had offered him a contract.
On Wednesday, judge Richard Mansell QC ordered Bashir’s sentence to be reviewed because “further information relevant to the sentence has become available to the court”.
Leicestershire CCC said in a statement after the jail sentence was handed down on Friday that it was happy to have “played its part” in justice being done.
The chief executive, Wasim Khan, said: “The club is deeply committed to the White Ribbon campaign set up to tackle domestic violence, so we were horrified at being used as a means for someone who had been convicted of appalling violence to his wife to escape imprisonment.
“His new sentence of 18 months in prison is a much more fitting punishment for what he did and good news for the fight against domestic violence.”
Mansell was heavily criticised by domestic abuse campaigners following his initial sentencing in March, when he said Karim was not vulnerable because she was “an intelligent woman with a network of friends” and a university degree.
During the original trial, Bashir’s lawyers told the judge their client would lose an offer to be employed as a professional cricketer by Leicestershire if he was jailed. The club later contacted the Crown Prosecution Service to deny any such offer had been made.
Bashir pleaded guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault by beating, destroying or damaging property and using a destructive substance with intent to maim. He was given an 18-month prison term, suspended for two years.
Mansell also ordered Bashir to attend a workshop called “building better relationships”, pay £1,000 costs and banned him from contacting Karim.
The court was told Bashir, who plays in a local cricket league in Oldham, Greater Manchester, once struck Karim over her back with his bat because he felt she spent too long talking to a friend on the phone, saying: “If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead.”
On another occasion, he forced his wife to take tablets and drink bleach and told her to kill herself during a row over him going on a cricket tour to the Netherlands.
During sentencing, Mansell said he was “not convinced [Karim] was a vulnerable person”. He added: “Sometimes women who move here from their country become trapped in a relationship where they lose their support network of family and friends, and cannot speak the language.
“This is not the case here. She is plainly an intelligent woman with a network of friends and did go on to graduate from university with a 2:1 and a master’s – although this has had an ongoing effect on her.”
Sandra Horley, the chief executive of Refuge, said Mansell’s comments demonstrated a shocking ignorance of the impact of domestic violence on women. “What a woman does for a job, her level of education or the number of friends she has makes no difference,” she said. “For any woman, domestic violence is a devastating crime that has severe and long-lasting impacts.”
The crown court has the power to alter a sentence within 56 days of the date it was given. The usual reason for altering a sentence is that further relevant information has become available, the court has overlooked some statutory provisions limiting its powers, or the sentence is found to take effect in an unexpected manner.