Leicester

Leicestershire Cricket Club contacts police over domestic abuser's job claim

Mustafa Bashir Image copyright Pat Isaacs/Cavendish
Image caption Bashir was given a suspended jail sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm

Leicestershire County Cricket Club has contacted police over claims they offered a job to a domestic abuser who was subsequently spared jail.

Mustafa Bashir, 34, of Middleton, Manchester, was handed a suspended jail term after admitting assault charges.

His defence's claim that a prison sentence would have lost him a contract with the club was noted by the judge.

The club said it was appalled he "could have invented the offer... to evade prison".

It said it had never spoken to Bashir and has been in touch with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Manchester Crown Court heard Bashir, who played cricket for Oldham, had attacked his wife with a cricket bat and forced bleach into her mouth.

In mitigation, his lawyer Hugh McKee said: "He has continued to play professionally in a local cricket league but of some importance certainly to him is if he is allowed to keep his liberty he will be employed by Leicestershire as a professional.

"He was about to sign the contract when he was arrested.''

'Deeply disturbing'

Judge Richard Mansell gave Bashir an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years, after he admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

In a statement, Leicestershire County Cricket Club said it had taken "immediate steps to bring to the attention of the authorities that Bashir's claim was wholly false".

It continued: "The club's 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.

"They also contacted the CPS to arrange for the club's chief executive, Wasim Khan, to give a statement to the same effect. This has now been given to Manchester police and they and the CPS will now be taking this matter forward."

Mr Khan said: "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 added the claim was "deeply disturbing for the club" and that it would do what it could to "support the authorities to bring about justice".

The BBC has approached Bashir's lawyers, but they have declined to comment.

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