Ted Jeory reports on his blog over a serious misjudgment by Lutfur Rahman, the independent elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Rahman provided a character reference for a man he barely knew, without carrying out any checks. The man had molested a woman in his illegal cab.

The East London Advertiser reports:

An unlicensed cabbie who was slammed by a judge for not bothering to learn English was caged for grabbing a passenger’s breasts.

Zamal Uddin, 44, twice sexually assaulted the 26-year-old in Hoxton last October after she got into his illegal taxi after a night out with friends.

Judge Timothy King had blasted Bangladesh-born Uddin, who was aided in court by an interpreter, for not learning English after moving to the UK in 1992.

And before passing sentence the judge was handed testimonials on Uddin’s behalf from several Tower Hamlets councillors and the borough’s mayor Lutfur Rahman. Judge King said they all seemed “to be in ignorance of your background and personality”.

Jailing Uddin for 18 months, Judge King described how he leaned over and touched his passenger’s breasts in the cab before following her after she fled into an alley where he pinned her against the wall and touched her under her clothing.

Uddin, of Rogers Estate, Globe Road, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years. He admitted two charges of sexual assault and driving while disqualified.