London: A British judge on Wednesday ordered a review of a sentence handed down to a Pakistani national, who escaped jail time for beating his wife with a bat, after claiming that he had been offered a contract by a cricket club. Mustafa Bashir’s legal team had claimed that prison would ruin his career as a cricketer, leading to a suspended sentence by Judge Richard Mansell at Manchester Crown Court last month. However, the judge came under pressure after the cricket club denied ever being in contact with Bashir. “Further information relevant to the sentence has become available to the court,” the judge said, setting a sentence review hearing on Friday. Manchester-based Bashir had admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the court was told he beat his wife, Fakhara Karim, with a cricket bat, throttled her in public and also forced her to drink bleach. READ: Pakistani cricketer spared jail time despite brutally beating his wife
Mansell sentenced Bashir to 18 months’ prison, suspended for two years, and ordered the 34-year-old to attend a workshop entitled “building better relationships”, pay 1,000 pounds costs and banned him from contacting Karim. In his sentencing remarks, he did not believe 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.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club chief executive Wasim Khan said: “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 and had already arranged a Bowling Out Domestic Violence cricket match in September in support of the White Ribbon Campaign, set up to tackle domestic violence,” Khan said.
“So Bashir’s claim was deeply disturbing for the club and we will continue to do what we can to support the authorities bring about justice,” he said. The sentencing and the judge’s remarks had provoked widespread outrage among campaigners. Bashir met Karim in Pakistan and got married in 2013. Bashir berated Karim for wearing Western clothing, tried to turn her against her own family, and repeatedly beat her.