A WIMPY owner has spoken out after the manager he hired raped a young woman in the restaurant.

Peraslingam Nanthvavaraman launched the “shocking” sex attack on the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, at the outlet in Portslade earlier this year.

Franchise owner Kapilraj Vigneswaran hired Nanthvavaraman as a manager, despite the fact the rapist was working in the country illegally.

He said he was “very, very sorry” to the victim and her family.

The Argus:

Peraslingam Nanthvavaraman

Mr Vigneswaran said “I put my life, dreams and everything I had into the place.

“My life is spoilt, I’ve learnt a very big lesson from this and in future I will be very careful.”

At Hove Crown Court, Judge Shani Barnes was told that the Sri Lankan’s asylum application had been rejected.

When asked why proper checks were not done on Nanthvavaraman, Mr Vigneswaran said: “We didn’t do them on him because he worked in another restaurant before.

“I was on holiday when this happened and I came back to this – he was supposed to be looking after [the restaurant].”

A council investigation found there was another illegal immigrant working there. When asked about this, Mr Vigneswaran claimed the other worker was only “helping” and was not being paid.

Mr Vigneswaran said he believed Nanthvavaraman deserved a harsher sentence than the eight years he was given.

He said: “I feel really, really sorry, I’m under pressure from the police and council, this is a very bad thing.

“I know this was a very bad thing to happen.

“I know it was a very big mistake, I have learnt my lesson.

“It’s very hard for her and her family, I’m very, very sorry, I have apologised to her and her mum.”

Mr Vigneswaran said he has been left “very upset” by the incident and subsequent fallout.

The Argus:

Told that the victim would be suffering from this crime for the rest of her life, he said: “I really understand what you are saying, you have to think about my life sentence, we have lost business on my side.

“I have done everything properly now, everything has been sorted and I’m very careful.

“I’m on their side. This is very hard for them and I understand.

“I still believe this is not my fault.”