Pakistani Cricketer Beat His Wife With His Bat

From Daily-Mail:
A Pakistani cricketer who beat his wife with his own bat and forced her to drink bleach while urging her to kill herself is set to join a top British club after being spared jail.

Mustafa Bashir, 34, hit his hotel receptionist wife with his own bat during a jealous outburst, then warned her: 'If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead.'

During another furious attack, he held Fakhara Karim, 33, by the neck, poured bleach down her throat and forced her to take tablets while ordering her to kill herself.

She told the court how her confidence was crushed by her jealous lover, who berated her for wearing westernised clothes and called her friends 'English slag girls'.

But Bashir was spared jail at Manchester Crown Court, where the judge decided that he did not pass the custody threshold because his ex-wife was not a vulnerable person.

His defence solicitor claimed that he would join former county champions Leicestershire as a professional player after being offered a contract just before his arrest, on the condition that
he was not jailed.

However, the club deny having any links to him, saying today they were 'bemused' by the claims.

In a statement, they 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.'

Sentencing Bashir to an 18-month jail term suspended for two years, Judge Mansell QC ordered him to attend a workshop entitled 'building better relationships' pay £1,000 costs and banned him from contacting Miss Karim indefinitely under the terms of a restraining order.

He told Bashir: 'This relationship started well but you began controlling her and how she spent her money.

'You told her how to spend her money and you tried to turn her against her family who you regularly insulted. She would buy clothes that were of a western style which you disapproved of and
called her a slag and said her friends were 'English slag girls'.

'But I am not convinced she was a vulnerable person. Sometimes women who moved her 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. She is plainly an intelligent woman with a network of friends and did go on to graduate university with a 2:1 and a masters - although this has had an ongoing affect on her. She had difficult trusting people now, especially men.'

Manchester Crown Court was told the pair met in their native Pakistan and married in 2013. But Bashir was said to be a 'controlling and dominating' husband who told his wife what what to wear and who she could see.

The couple had been on a day out to Rochdale Lake in April 2014 when an argument broke out about Bashir travelling to the Netherlands and he grabbed Ms Karim by her neck and squeezed, until a member of the public threatened to go to the police.

Prosecutor Roger Brown said: 'The parties went back home where the argument continued. He grabbed her neck again, so much that she said it was hurting a lot and at one point he picked up a knife and said that he would kill himself and she begged him not to.

'He took her into the bathroom where he grabbed a bottle of bleach and he made her drink the bleach so she would kill herself. She spat that out as she was unable to swallow it. Then he gave her tablets from the house and told her to take them. She did but again she was unable to swallow them.

'He said to her 'I want you to kill yourself'. She left the bathroom and went into the living room where the defendant called her family to tell them they had an argument and that she was not obeying him. Her family urged her to obey him and told him that she would obey.

'She did take photos of her injuries to her neck and to her upper arm. When making her statement she said that he grabbed her neck very hard and she thought she was going to die. She was pulling at him trying to get him to stop but he was stronger and she couldn't stop him. After that incident he left the house and she didn't see him for some two days.'

The marriage continued but on New Years Eve 2014 the couple were at home when a row broke out about Miss Karim speaking on the phone in their living room.

Mr Brown added: 'She describes the defendant as becoming angry after she had been on the phone for just over half an hour, and after the conversation finished he took the phone off her and said she couldn't have it back and he wanted to search it and look at the messages.

'She said her friends weren't saying anything bad but he began insulting her father called him a 'dog' and she replied with 'you don't have a dad that's why you don't know how to respect mine'.

'He became more angry and slapped her, and grabbed her hands and started bending her fingers back trying to break them. He slapped her so hard again that she fell on the floor and lost consciousness.

'The next thing she remembers is waking up on her bed, she went to get her phone but he was there. She said to him: 'It's over please leave me alone' but he called her a slag, and strangled her until she was struggling to breathe.

'He grabbed a cricket bat that was in the bedroom and her over the back with it. She recalls feeling a sharp pain.

'He said to her 'If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead'. He went into the hall and she took the opportunity to call 999.'

Miss Karim eventually went to police and said: 'I now feel strong enough to report this to the police. I did fear for my life, he told me he was going to kill me.'

In a statement she added: 'Before I met Mustafa Bashir I was a confident, active and humorous person. I looked after myself and liked dressing up.

'I spent money on myself and enjoyed going shopping. I felt the future was bright. I was in good mental health and felt strong. After the abuse my confidence was very low and I hid myself away from family and friends.

'He didn't like me socialising and I couldn't accept my friends requests to go out. When she was at university she described herself as not being able to complete the work at home. Once we split it took months for me to get my self belief back and I am not back to the person I was before.

'It will take a long time to get back to how I was before. My education results got better after the split and I got a 2:1 and was able to qualify for my masters. I still find it very difficult to trust people.

'I can't see how I could trust another man again after what happened to me. I dreamed of being in a happy relationship and I do not feel now that that will ever happen with someone else.'

Bashir, who plays for a local cricket league in Oldham, Greater Manchester, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm but his lawyer said if he was spared prison he would be able to accept a place at Leicestershire.

The club has won the English county championship three times and produced a string of England stars including David Gower, Ray Illingworth and Peter Willey.

In mitigation Bashir's lawyer Hugh McKee said: 'He has continued to play professionally in a local cricket league but of some importance certainly to him is if he is allowed to keep his
liberty he will be employed by Leicestershire as a professional. He was about to sign the contract when he was arrested.'

He said of the couple's relationship: 'It had been going for some 10 years and during that time Mr Bashir was working in that time for long hours and having two jobs and she had no jobs. He
says that he gave her money and got into debt to allow her to go on holiday with her friends. He struggled and continues to struggle and to this day he hasn't been able to give an explanation about what led him to do what he did.

'This was a relationship he wanted to keep alive but whatever she did or whatever he thought she was doing let him to lose his temper and to behave in the way described. He has continued to work, and he has a second job and potentially a very good job doing what he has always done - ie playing cricket.'

The judge added: 'With regard to the mitigating factors I am not convinced of your remorse for her, but you are sorry for the position you find yourself in over the last two years. Your current partner is supporting you in court and she complains of no violence. You have employment prospects of being employed in cricket for Leicestershire Cricket Club.

'This court will not tolerate violence in a relationship of this nature. It is a very fine line between imprisonment and a suspended sentence.'
Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of the domestic abuse charity 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.

'A domestic abuse perpetrator's employment prospects should make no difference either. Men who abuse women do not make positive role models; it is concerning when men's professional or celebrity status is used in court to defend them.

'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.'

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