'Cricket-lie' wife attacker who claimed Leics contract offer is jailed

Mustafa BashirImage copyright
Pat Isaacs/Cavendish

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Bashir said he “wasn’t listening” when his previous barrister said he was about to sign for Leicestershire

A man who admitted attacking his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to drink bleach has been jailed after a judge said the court was “misled” over a cricket contract.

Mustafa Bashir, 33, was spared a custodial term in March as the judge heard he would lose out on a cricket contract with Leicestershire.

Judge Richard Mansell QC, reviewing the sentence at Manchester Crown Court, said he was “fundamentally misled”.

He sentenced Bashir to 18 months.

‘Extremely emotional’

Bashir, who has played cricket for Oldham and Bolton, 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, was “extremely emotional” and there were a “series of misunderstandings”.

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

Leicestershire CCC accused Bashir of “inventing” the job offer “in order, it would seem, to evade a prison sentence”.

The club later contacted the Crown Prosecution Service to deny any contact with Bashir.

However the court heard the club accepted he may have taken part in an open nets session.

‘Slip rule’

Bashir, of Hebers Court, Middleton, Greater Manchester, earlier admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault by beating, destroying or damaging property and using a destructive substance with intent to maim.

Judge Mansell ordered the case back to court under the “Slip rule” which allows judges to re-sentence if new information comes to light.

He had asked Bashir to provide evidence but said the defendant had produced only a “handful of emails” to support his claims.

The court heard a sports agent had written a letter to the earlier hearing saying Bashir “had a very bright future ahead of him” as he had been selected for Leicestershire.

The sports agent, who the new defence team said had “mistyped” the letter to court, has since been spoken to by police, the court heard.

Bashir’s barrister also said the previous defence and probation officer had “got the wrong end of the stick” over the job offer.

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Judge Richard Mansell was criticised by MPs over comments he made about Bashir’s victim

Imposing the new sentence, the judge told Bashir: “You were clearly making a claim to the court you had a career in professional cricket ahead of you which was false.

“You made that quite clearly in the hope you would avoid a prison sentence.

“There’s not a shred of evidence you were ever chosen to play for Leicestershire County Cricket Club, let alone you had received any offer of a full time contract.”

Welcoming the sentence, Leicestershire CCC chief executive Wasim Khan said the club was “horrified at being used as a means for someone who had been convicted of appalling violence to his wife to escape imprisonment”.

He said the new sentence was “a much more fitting punishment for what he did and good news for the fight against domestic violence”.

Judge Mansell drew criticism from domestic abuse campaigners and several MPs when he told the court last month that the victim was not vulnerable as she was “an intelligent woman with a network of friends” and had a degree.

Reviewing Bashir’s sentence, he said his earlier comments were meant as an explanation of advice issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council about the vulnerability of witnesses.

He said he wanted to make clear Bashir’s wife had been believed, she was “plainly vulnerable”, but he had been explaining the different factors which can make a victim especially vulnerable.

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