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Wife Beating Case: Pakistani cricketer jailed in UK

LONDON: A 34-year-old Pakistani man, who has beaten his wife with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach, was today jailed for 18 months after a judge said he was “fundamentally misled” by the cricketer.

Judge Richard Mansell was reviewing his own previous non-custodial sentence at Manchester Crown Court and said he had been “fundamentally misled” after Mustafa Bashir’s legal team had claimed that he had been offered a contract by the Leicestershire County Cricket Club (LCCC).

The judge had let Mustafa Bashir off jail time last month in order to not ruin his career.

However, there was widespread outcry against his ruling after it emerged that LCCC had made no such offer to Mustafa Bashir. Mustafa Bashir met his 33-year-old Fakhara Karim in their country of origin Pakistan and married in 2013.

The court heard that Mustafa Bashir berated Fakhara Karim for wearing Western clothing, tried to turn her against her own family, and repeatedly beat her.

The club had contacted the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to deny any contact with the cricketer.

The court was told the club accepted he may have taken part in an open nets session.

Mustafa Bashir, who has played cricket for Oldham and Bolton in England, denied telling his barrister at the last hearing that he was about to sign the contract with Leicestershire.

He claimed he “wasn’t listening” to his barrister’s comments and that there had been a “series of misunderstandings”.

Judge Mansell rejected Mustafa Bashir’s claims, saying, “You were clearly making a claim to the court you had professional cricket contract.”

LCCC chief executive Wasim Khan said the claim had been “deeply disturbing” for the club.

“Leicestershire CCC are appalled that Bashir could have invented a job offer from the club in order, it would seem, to evade a prison sentence. The club are actively involved in the fight against domestic abuse,” he said.

Manchester-based Mustafa Bashir had earlier admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the court was told he beat Karim with a cricket bat, throttled her in public and also forced her to drink bleach.

Judge Mansell had earlier sentenced Mustafa Bashir to 18 months’ prison, suspended for two years, besides ordering him to attend a workshop entitled “building better relationships” and pay 1,000 pounds costs as well as banning him from contacting Karim.

In his sentencing remarks, he said he did not believe Fakhara Karim, 33, was vulnerable as she was “an intelligent woman with a network of friends” and a college degree.

A suspended sentence in the UK relates to a sentence where the accused can escape jail time by serving a period of probation.

The sentencing and the judge’s remarks had provoked widespread outrage among campaigners.