Mustafa Bashir was spared jail despite attempting to strangle his wife and making her drink bleach because the judge did not think his victim was vulnerable.

The 34-year-old admitted actual bodily harm and was sentenced to an 18-month prison term, suspended for two years.

Judge Richard Mansell QC ordered Bashir, from Manchester, to go to a workshop for "building better relationships". He also ordered Bashir to pay £1,000 in costs and barred him from contacting his wife Karim.

Upon sentencing, Mansell said that he did not believe Fakhara Karim was vulnerable because she had a college degree and was "an intelligent woman with a network of friends".

His remarks provoked outrage from domestic abuse campaigners who said it demonstrated a "shocking ignorance around the impact of domestic violence on women".

The case drew the attention of the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, who said she would contact the attorney general and the justice secretary. "The words of the judge, if they have been reported accurately, are frankly astonishing," she said according to a Guardian report.

"The idea that a woman's educational status or her friendships are being used to judge her vulnerability completely fails to understand the nature of domestic abuse."

The court heard evidence of Bashir's abusive behaviour towards Karim, calling her a "slag" and telling her to commit suicide. He also struck her with a cricket bat when he thought she had talked too long to a friend on the phone, saying: "If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead."

Karim went to the police and made a statement: "I did fear for my life; he told me he was going to kill me."

In court she said: "Before I met Mustafa Bashir I was a confident, active and humorous person. I looked after myself and liked dressing up.

"It will take a long time to get back to how I was before. My education results got better after the split and I got a 2:1 and was able to qualify for my master's. I still find it very difficult to trust people," she added.