Manchester, UK—Sandra Horley, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Refuge, ripped into a judge for issuing an 18-month suspended sentence to a man who brutally tortured and tormented his former wife. Horley claims that Judge Richard Mansell, who oversaw the case, exhibited a “shocking ignorance around the impact of domestic violence on women.”
The man sentenced was 34-year-old Mustafa Bashir, who admitted to attacking his then-wife Fakhara Karim with a cricket bat. During this incident, Bashir, who played cricket for Oldham, strangled and hit his wife repeatedly with the blunt object. He then allegedly told her, “If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead.”
During the trial, Prosecutor Roger Brown touched on another incident that occurred in April 2014:
“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,” Roger told the court. “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.”
But for as horrific as it sounds, Mansell came down light on Bashir’s sentence because the victim was an “intelligent woman with a network of friends.”
“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 effect on her,” Judge Mansell stated.
As the chief executive of a women’s domestic violence charity, Sandra Horley finds this attitude absolutely appalling.
“[Judge Mansell’s] comments—that he was not convinced of the victim’s ‘vulnerability’— show a shocking ignorance around the impact of domestic violence on women,” Horley rebuked. “What a woman does for a job, her level of education or the number of friends she has makes no difference; for any woman, domestic violence is a devastating crime that has severe and long-lasting impacts.”