UK authorities 'considering options' after man who admitted beating wife is spared jail

UK authorities 'considering options' after man who admitted beating wife is spared jail

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service has said it is "considering options" in the case of a man who was spared jail after he admitted beating his wife.

Mustafa Bashir, 34, was given a suspended sentence at Manchester Crown Court last week for assaulting wife Fakhara Karim.

Judge Richard Mansell QC has been criticised by domestic abuse campaigners in the UK after he reportedly said Miss Karim was not vulnerable because she was intelligent.

According to reports, the court was told that if Bashir was spared custody he would be employed as a professional player by Leicestershire County Cricket Club.

But the claims were denied by the club.

A statement on its website said: "Leicestershire County Cricket Club are aware of stories that have been published this morning regarding Mustafa Bashir.

"The club are bemused by these stories. Any references to Mustafa Bashir signing or being approached to sign for Leicestershire County Cricket Club are completely false.

"The club have never spoken to Mustafa Bashir or an agent, nor offered a contract to the player."

Asked whether the CPS would apply for a review of the case following the cricket club's statement, a spokeswoman for the service said: "We are aware of recent developments relating to this case and are currently considering our options."

Bashir was said to have beaten his wife with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach.

UK authorities 'considering options' after man who admitted beating wife is spared jail

Sentencing, Judge Mansell QC reportedly said he was not convinced Miss Karim was a vulnerable person as she was "plainly intelligent", having graduated from university with a 2:1, and had a network of friends.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: "Judge Mansell's comments - that he was not convinced of the victim's 'vulnerability' - show a shocking ignorance around 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; for any woman, domestic violence is a devastating crime that has severe and long-lasting impacts."

She added: "There are still so many myths and misconceptions surrounding domestic violence.

"People often think that it only happens in poor families on council estates, but the truth is that domestic violence affects women of all ages, classes and backgrounds.

"Rather than perpetuating damaging myths, the judiciary must be better trained to understand domestic violence."

Commenting on the case on Radio 4's Today programme, Labour MP Jess Phillips said: "Your vulnerability and your risk is a completely dynamic thing."

She added: "Everybody has a dynamic risk, I've met women who went on to be murdered who had law degrees, who were very eminent business people.

"There's no category that domestic violence does not touch. It does not follow class lines, it does not follow race lines, it does not follow age lines."

A Manchester Crown Court spokesman said Bashir was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault by beating, destroying or damaging property and using a destructive substance with intent to maim.

A spokeswoman for the CPS said Bashir had also been ordered to attend a Building Better Relationships Programme and a restraining order was imposed indefinitely.

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said he would write to the UK's Attorney General and British Justice Secretary Liz Truss to ask for the case to be reviewed.

He said: "This man subjected his wife to a life of torment, fear and violence, the scars of which will be with her for a very long time to come.

"Justice must be done, and must be seen to be done - and in this case justice has failed.

"I call on the Attorney General to urgently review this case and restore public faith in our criminal justice system and bring hope to victims."

Chief Executive of Women's Aid in the UK Polly Neate said: "The horrific assaults and controlling behaviour that Fakhara Karim endured are completely unacceptable; and a softer sentence on the basis that 'she is not a vulnerable woman' is shocking.

"It is a complete fallacy that only a certain type of woman can become a victim of domestic abuse. In fact, perpetrators target women of all ages from all sections of society."

Maria Miller, chairwoman of the Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee, said she had also written to Attorney General Jeremy Wright about the case.

The senior Tory told BBC Radio 4's World At One: "It would appear that the sentence does not necessarily reflect the severity of the crime that has been committed."

She added: "In reading the facts of the case it would appear that the perpetrator of the crime had done a great deal in terms of coercive behaviour towards the victim and I have written to the Attorney General to understand what action he might take to ensure that those sorts of factors are properly taken into account."

British Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told the programme: "The judge's finding is outrageous because it implies that somehow domestic violence is less of an issue for middle class, middle income women than for anyone else.

"Of course, that is completely wrong."

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