Victims of black cab rapist welcome ruling allowing challenge to release
Victims of the black cab rapist welcomed a ruling yesterday allowing to challenge to the decision to release him from jail. The Justice Secretary last month ordered a review of the parole board following the controversy over plans for the release of John Worboys. Worboys was facing an indefinite sentence, but only served nine years after he was convicted of 19 offences including a charge of rape and multiple charges of sexual assault – more here. Originally, 83 complaints had been made against the 60 year old, but many of these did not surpass the Crown Prosecutions Service’s evidential threshold. However, police believe that Warboys may have attacked more than 100 women
The London, Mayor Sadiq Khan called yesterday’s decision by two High Court judges on a ‘relief’. Two of his victims, together with Khan, were given permission on Wednesday to challenge the Parole Board’s decision to release him. ‘I’m pleased that there will now be an opportunity for thorough scrutiny of this decision by the Parole Board,’ the major said.
Worboys appeared in person at the High Court after judges experienced a faulty video link during a hearing the previous day. ‘How is it that I can call my brother in Brisbane over Skype, but we’re unable to contact a person in a prison in this country?’ said Sir Brian Leveson.
Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, who is representing the victims, said that one of her clients found it ‘very, very difficult’ that Worboys was present. ‘She felt it was really necessary to be there and to say she wasn’t going to be frightened of him being there, and to challenge his power,’ she told the Press Association. ‘But obviously it is hard seeing him there in the flesh after all this time.’
Worboys had no legal representation when he arrived. There was a half hour break for Worboys to consult with a prison law specialist Dean Kingham who had attended the hearing because of his professional interest in the case.
A lawyer who’s turned up in Court has offered to give advice to #Worboys. He accepts. So there’s now a half hour break.
— Danny Shaw (@DannyShawBBC) February 7, 2018
Author: Jon Robins
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award