Refuge responds to judge’s comments in Mustafa Bashir case


Responding to the comments made by Judge Richard Mansell QC at the sentencing of Mustafa Bashir, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his former partner, Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said:

“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. 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.

“A domestic abuse perpetrator’s employment prospects should make no difference. Men who abuse women do not make positive role models; it is concerning when men’s professional or celebrity status is used in court to defend them.

“There are still so many myths and misconceptions surrounding domestic violence. People often think that it only happens in poor families on council estates, but the truth is that domestic violence affects women of all ages, classes and backgrounds. Rather than perpetuating damaging myths, the judiciary must be better trained to understand domestic violence.”

For further comment, contact the Refuge press office on or call 0207 395 7731. For out of hours and weekend press enquiries, please call 07970 894240.

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