Labour Councillor gives reference for paedophile
A Labour party COUNCILLOR who specialises in child care is facing calls for his resignation after he gave a character reference to a paedophile.
Labour party Councillor Salim Mulla spoke up for a sex offender of the same name before he was jailed for three years for sexual assault and inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activities.
The 42-year-old defendant, of Ripon Street, Audley, Blackburn, led a secret life as a sexual predator, tricking girls as young as 12 into answering sordid questions over the telephone.
But before he was sentenced, Councillor Mulla, who sits on the board of Audley and Queen’s Park Children’s Centre, gave a character reference to Preston Crown Court.
Councillor Mulla continued..
Has been called on to “seriously consider his position on various authorities and boards connected with children’s services” within the borough.
But the Queen’s Park councillor defended his actions and said that as he had known the car salesman for 35 years and had just told the court that from his dealings with him, that he had always come across as “not a bad lad.”
The court heard that there had been several previous allegations of sex-pest phone calls against the defendant, a father-of-four, also called Salim Mulla.
But today Councillor Mulla said:
“I knew Salim Mulla, who I must stress is no relation to me, for 35 years and he has lived in my street for a long time. I saw him almost every day and as far as I could understand he was an upstanding and respected member of the community. When he approached me for a reference I agreed and could only write about my own personal knowledge of the man. I can only say what I personally saw and cannot get into the allegations that were against him. That is a matter for the police and the court. As a councillor I get asked for references all the time.I am an elected member of the council and the management board of the children’s centre but I have a duty of care to the whole community as well as to children.”
A spokesman for the NSPCC said it would look into the matter and added: “We would hope that anyone in a power of responsibility would put the welfare of children first.”
Audley and Queen’s Park Children’s Centre offers affordable childcare on a full or part-time basis. The child can develop and learn while being cared for in a safe environment.
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