A talented cricketer who beat his wife with his own cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach while urging her to kill herself has been spared jail after the judge decided that he did not pass the custody threshold because his wife was ‘not a vulnerable person.’
Mustafa Bashir, 34, was instead given an 18-month jail term suspended for two years, a £1,000 fine and must attend a workshop entitled ‘building better relationships’ after he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The court had heard that Bashir hit his hotel receptionist wife, Fakhara Karim, 33. with his own bat during a jealous outburst then told her ‘If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead.’
During another violent attack he held her by the neck, poured bleach down her throat and forced her to take tablets while ordering her to kill herself.
Manchester Crown Court was told the pair met in their native Pakistan and married in 2013.
The violence started when 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.’
On New Years Eve 2014 the couple were at home when a row broke out about her 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.’
Sentencing Bashir to an 18-month jail term suspended for two years, Judge Mansell QC 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.’
He is now set to 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.