Wife Must Pay for Batterer’s Criminal Defense

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A Manhattan investment adviser, Theresa Havell, 53, was asleep in her townhouse last year when an assailant struck her in the head with a barbell.

Havell needed 26 operations to restore her teeth and rebuild a crushed eye socket, her jaw, nose and a finger. Three of her children witnessed the attack and the family suffered enormous psychological trauma as well.

Her assailant was her then-husband, Aftab Islam, 59, an unemployed former securities industry executive. In August, prosecutors allowed Islam to plea guilty to first degree assault with a sentence of eight years and three months, rather than the maximum of 25 years. The bargain was made, prosecutors said, so that the children would be spared the trauma of testifying against their father.

Under a divorce court order, Havell was compelled to pay the fees of her ex-husband’s criminal defense attorneys who struck this deal–$400,000, later reduced on appeal to $215,000.

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