06:54, March 29 409 0 theguardian.com

2017-03-29 06:54:03
Leicestershire cricket club tell police they never offered contract to abusive husband

Lawyers for Leicestershire County cricket club have issued a legal warning to an abusive husband who was spared jail after he made “wholly false” claims that he was about to sign a contract with the club.

Mustafa Bashir forced his wife to drink bleach and hit her over the back with a cricket bat but was spared jail by judge Richard Mansell QC after his lawyers told the court he had been offered a contract by Leicestershire as a professional player, but only if he was not sent to prison.

But the club have sent legal letters to Bashir’s lawyers refuting the “deeply disturbing” claim, saying it was “wholly false”. The club’s chief executive, Wasim Khan, has also given a statement to Manchester police.

In a statement the club said: “[Our] legal advisers emailed a letter to Bashir’s legal team reiterating that the club had never spoken or had any contact with Bashir or offered him a job.”

Khan said the club were actively fighting domestic abuse and had arranged a “Bowling out domestic violence” cricket match in September in support of the White Ribbon Campaign.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The cricketer could face an investigation over claims that he perverted the course of justice. The Crown Prosecution Service is investigating the case after Leicestershire’s denial that it had ever offered Bashir a contract and is considering whether to apply for a review of the case in light of the information.

Bashir, 34, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was given an 18-month prison term. The sentence was suspended for two years and the cricketer was ordered to instead attend a workshop entitled “building better relationships”, provoking outrage from campaigners and politicians. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs and banned from contacting his wife, Fakhara Karim.

The court was told Bashir once struck Karim over her back with his bat when she was on the phone to a friend, and told her: “If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead.”

On another occasion, Bashir, who plays in a local league in Oldham, Greater Manchester, forced his wife to take tablets and drink bleach, and told her to kill herself during an argument about a cricket tour to the Netherlands.

Karim eventually went to the police and said: “I did fear for my life; he told me he was going to kill me.”

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

Speaking to the BBC, Bashir’s ex-wife said she was “disappointed in the comments which the judge made about my vulnerability. I am a confident and strong woman because of what I have suffered. I was suffering for my life but the judge didn’t believe me.”

The crown court has the power to alter a sentence within 56 days of the date it was made, under the 56-day “slip rule”. The maximum sentence for perverting the course of justice is life imprisonment and, while there is the option of a fine or community order, the CPS sentencing guidelines recommend a prison sentence of between four and 36 months.