A rapist who drove a city taxi for three years had “done his crime, served his time”, according to a Milton Keynes councillor.
Councillor Stuart Burke was chairman of MK Council’s licensing committee which renewed the licence of Nadeem Ahmed Kiani - despite documentation detailing his convictions.
Mr Kiani attacked women by hiding in the back of a car, threatening them with weapons and forcing them to strip.
But in an internal audit released by MK Council today, Mr Burke is quoted as defending his decision to grant the rapist - convicted of four serious sexual assaults - a taxi licence.
Mr Burke said: “If you are just going to look at the paperwork then everyone who ever comes before me is guilty.
“If you merely look at the paperwork and you’re not there listening to what the person has to say you get a different impression.
“You see a very different person to the person you saw; you see someone who understood what he had done wrong and realised.
“I think that it did weigh heavily on our mind that the time that had passed between his offences and now.
“I still look at our current policy and think, well would he fall foul of our current policy and I don’t think he would.”
Mr Kiani forced his victims to remove their clothes before being raped and seriously sexually assaulted in turn over a three-month period in 1994.
Mr Burke’s fellow Lib Dem councillor Subhan Shafiq gave a character reference for Mr Kiani at the committee meeting. In August, Mr Shafiq stepped down as Mayor of Milton Keynes over the scandal.
Mr Burke added: “He was incredibly frank about what had happened.
“In fact he told us more than is on here, which is what had suprised me to be honest. He then proceeded to admit and acknowledge that what he’s done was wrong and that he accepted that.
“He was a 20-year-old and had made mistakes and that he’d served his time; he regretted everything he had done.”