Tower Hamlets Mayor told to say sorry to sex crime victim after his testimonial to her attacker

15:00 14 April 2011

Mayor Lutfur Rahman

Mayor Lutfur Rahman


The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has been asked to say sorry to a young woman who was attacked by a sex pervert who picked her up in his illegal minicab.

Lutfur Rahman had given a ‘good character’ reference to the man which was used to try and convince a judge not to jail him.

Mr Rahman claimed the testimonial “was a genuine mistake” when he faced angry councillors at last night’s council meeting.

Zamal Uddin, 44, who sexually assaulted the 26-year-old woman in October, was jailed for 18 months and put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years after admitting two charges of sexual assault and driving while disqualified.

Councillors challenged the Mayor over whether he knew Uddin faced serious criminal charges when he gave the testimonial.

“For you to say you ‘made a mistake’ is outrageous,” said Tory Opposition leader Peter Golds.

“You’re a solicitor and member of the Law Society—yet you gave a reference on Tower Hamlets notepaper for this corrupt, perverted criminal.

“You know better than anyone how the Law stands—you should apologise to the people of Tower Hamlets for your testimonial to a pervert who’s been recommended for deportation.”

Cllr Golds now plans to write to the Law Society over Lutfur’s testimonial.

Labour’s Rachael Saunders said: “I hope the mayor apologises to the woman to save the reputation of the council.”

Her colleague Bill Turner said: “Lutfur has acknowledged his mistake—but needs to explain what happened.”

The row led to a call for a register of testimonials which would be open to public scrutiny. All copies used for judicial and government agencies on council stationary would now be logged and kept on record, it was agreed.

Mayor Rahman later told the East London Advertiser: “This man’s family tricked me. They wanted a character reference but didn’t say it was for a court case.

“I knew nothing about any criminal case—they switched the reference and used it in a court case.”

But he had earlier written on a blogsite on the internet: “I was told he was in court due to a revocation of his driving license as he was not currently insured. They made the case to me that this was an oversight and a reference would help convince the judge he be allowed to retain his license as it was a ‘one off’ mistake.”

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:18
The 'museum' shop front before it opened in August

A memorial service is being held tonight by women campaigners and worshippers from three churches in London’s East End for the victims of Jack the Ripper—127 years after the Whitechapel Murders.

The service follows a protest vigil they are staging outside the controversial Jack the Ripper museum that opened in August in Cable Street, near Tower Hill.

Yesterday, 07:00
Ian Cumming shares a nibble of his 'frangipandi' with ‘burlesque’ baker Charlotte White in her vintage 1920s outfit

There’s more food than you can shake a wooden spoon at with TV’s Great British Bake Off rolling up in London’s East End at the Old Truman Brewery tomorrow and the weekend.

Wed, 21:37
Aerial view of proposed Rotherhithe Bridge [image: reForm Architects]

Plans to build a new bridge across the Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe on either side have reached completion in a new feasibility study.

The proposed ‘Rotherhithe Bridge’ would have the longest bascule span in the world, at 600ft (184m), for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

Wed, 13:23
Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs and (inset) Chancellor Goerge Osborne

The government is being challenged today by the mayor of one of Britain’s most deprived areas not to cut funding for vital public services as Chancellor George Osborne makes his Autumn statement to Parliament.

Wed, 13:13
Fiirefighters from Poplar fire station - which is at risk of losing an engine Picture: Isabel Infantes

Poplar is at risk of permanently losing one of its fire engines under plans that will result in firefighters taking longer to reach blazes in the borough.

Wed, 12:00
Charlie and Wallace face eviction

Meet two ‘rescue’ dogs named Wallace and Charlie who face being evicted from their home by social landlords in the run-up to Christmas.

Wed, 07:00
Lock Gates being replaced on Regent's Canal at Mile End

Part of the Regent’s Canal has been drained in London’s East End to remove two ancient lock gates that have passed their ‘sell by ‘ dates.

New gates—weighing about the same as a three-tonne family car—have been hand-crafted at the Canal & River Trust workshops in Yorkshire to replace them.

Tue, 19:11
View from the Ferris wheel at last year's Winterville

A sprawling festive town filled with seasonal feasts, markets and entertainment has sprung up in Victoria Park for the second year running.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder