Abusive husband whose light sentence sparked anger is jailed

LONDON (AP) An abusive British husband whose original sentence for assaulting his wife sparked outrage among domestic violence groups was jailed for 18 months on Friday after new information came to light from a county cricket team.

Mustafa Bashir was first given an 18-month suspended prison sentence at Manchester Crown Court for beating his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to drink bleach. Judge Richard Mansell said in sentencing remarks last month that Fakhara Karim was ''plainly an intelligent woman'' and not particularly vulnerable.

Another factor in sentencing was a claim that Bashir had been offered a professional cricket contract by Leicestershire. The judge was told that Bashir would lose out on the contract if he was sent to prison.

Leicestershire accused Bashir of inventing the job offer, and the judge said Friday that Bashir had produced ''not a shred of evidence'' to support his claim.

''You were clearly making a claim to the court you had a career in professional cricket ahead of you, which was false,'' the judge said. ''You made that quite clearly in the hope you would avoid a prison sentence.''

Leicestershire said it welcomed the new sentence and was ''happy to have played its part in bringing Bashir's invention to the attention of the court.''

''We were horrified at being used as a means for someone who had been convicted of appalling violence to his wife to escape imprisonment,'' Leicestershire chief executive Wasim Khan said. ''His new sentence of 18 months in prison is much more fitting punishment for what he did and good news for the fight against domestic violence.''

The judge said Bashir could face further investigation and criminal proceedings for perverting the course of justice.

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