August 2020

Portslade Wimpy rapist Nanthvavaraman worked in UK illegally

A sex predator who subjected a young woman to a horrific rape ordeal was working illegally at the restaurant where it happened.

Peraslingam Nanthvavaraman has been jailed over the sex attack at Wimpy in Station Road, Portslade.

The 40-year-old had plied the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, with alcohol then throttled her.

She was found with bruises to her throat, legs and arms and had to be rushed to hospital after her boyfriend saw her lying unconscious inside.

Nanthvavaraman worked as a manager of the restaurant. No checks on his immigration status were made by Wimpy franchise owner Kapilraj Vigneswaran.

Meanwhile it was revealed that Nanthvavaraman had absconded from a visitor’s visa ten years ago.

At Hove Crown Court, Judge Shani Barnes said his asylum bid had been turned down.

He admitted rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and the judge jailed him for eight years, with an extended licence period of three years.

She said he was “dangerous” and posed a risk to other women and told him he faces deportation back to his native Sri Lanka.

The Home Office was aksed how Nanthvavaraman had not been deported before the rape happened earlier this year.

The Home Office said it has removed 53,000 foreign nationals who have not been granted leave to remain or refugee status since 2010.

“Our priority will always be to keep the British public safe and dangerous foreign criminals who abuse our hospitality by committing heinous crimes should be in no doubt we will deport them,” officials said.

Nanthvavaraman, of Sheppard Way, Portslade, claimed to have been persecuted as a Tamil in Sri Lanka.

Despite not getting asylum in the UK, it is not clear if he will be deported once he finishes his jail time. He has been told to expect to be deported.

The Home Office did not say if Nanthvavaraman had made his asylum application in the years after 2010.

Nor did the Home Office say if it was aware the rapist had absconded from a visitor visa and had been living illegally here since 2010.

Officials said there is a team in place which will “never give up trying” to find those who abscond on their visas and remain here illegally.

A council investigation into Wimpy in Portslade found a catalogue of problems, including two illegal immigrants working there.

The restaurant was stripped of its alcohol licence last month and has so far not lodged an appeal.

Wimpy franchise owner Kapilraj Vigneswaran said he still does not believe the incident was his fault, and said he was away on holiday when the incident happened.

Because Nanthvavaraman had already been working in a kitchen, the franchise boss thought he did not have to check the worker’s immigration status.

But Wimpy said: “We were absolutely appalled to hear of the horrendous incident which took place at Wimpy Portslade and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the victim.

“We were also shocked to discover that both the perpetrator of this crime, and another member of staff, were working illegally and launched an immediate internal investigation.

“Although it is the responsibility of our individual franchisees to ensure staff have the necessary legal documentation to allow them to work in this country, we accept that as an organisation we also need to learn from this dreadful chain of events.

“Moving forward, our franchisees will have to demonstrate they have carried out full employment checks for all the staff they employ and, if any franchisee is found to be in breach of those conditions, they will be dealt with extremely seriously indeed.

“The vast majority of our franchisees and their teams are very honest, hard working and respectful and we are incredibly sad and sorry that due to the actions of one individual, this young woman suffered such a terrifying ordeal.

“Each Wimpy franchisee owns and operates their own business, therefore whenever a new employee joins their team, it is (and always has been) a franchisee’s responsibility to carry out all the necessary checks, regardless of where that individual may have worked previously.

“As our internal investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further.