A victim of black cab rapist John Worboys has said she feels “shocked, shaken and tearful” that he is going to be released from prison and fears he could still be a danger to women.
The decision to release the 60-year-old, nine years after he was jailed, prompted anger from victims and questions around why not all of the 102 complainants had their cases brought to trial, The Press Association reports.
Finding out that Worboys, who was found guilty of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women passengers, in one case raping a woman, was to be released from a news report rather than the authorities had left her feeling “cheated and betrayed,” according to the victim.
She said: “I never thought Worboys would see the light of day after the terrible offences he committed. I honestly thought he would never be allowed out of prison.
“So I was shocked, shaken and tearful when a friend sent me an email with a link to the story of his imminent release.
“I hadn’t been told by the Parole Board and had to find out by looking at a news website which is completely out of order. I felt cheated and betrayed. They could have at least sent me a letter. ”
A day after his release was confirmed, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) explained it had charged Worboys with offences “where it was deemed there was a realistic prospect of conviction”.
The woman said: “I am really concerned that he could offend again. How can he carry out so many horrific crimes and then suddenly be ok?”
One woman who said she had a narrow escape from the sexual predator said police dismissed her when she told them of her ordeal in 2002.
In a comment piece for the i newspaper, Hannah Roberts said it was six years on before she was given the opportunity to identify him and make a statement.
Criticising the CPS, she said: “Many of the women who came forward to accuse Worboys were ignored or not believed by police at the time of their attacks.”
Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represents 11 of Worboys’s victims, said: “Are his many victims seriously expected to believe that he has become a changed character? It is crucial that we are told the reasons why he has been allowed out.
“Otherwise how are his victims meant to have any trust in the system which they feel so deeply betrayed by?”
The CPS said 83 women had reported allegations up to the point of conviction, and a further 19 afterwards, and the body had advised officers to refer any allegations of rape.
One file was submitted in relation to an allegation of sexual assault but it “did not pass the evidential test”, the CPS statement added.
It said: “It would be unlikely that it would be in the public interest to prosecute Worboys in relation to allegations of sexual assault or administering a substance with intent, because of the maximum sentence available to the court.”
The Metropolitan Police confirmed there is currently no live investigation into Worboys.
Sir Keir Starmer, who was director of public prosecutions at the time of the trial, did not have “any involvement in the decision-making” the CPS said.
He has reiterated a call to anyone with concerns about allegations against Worboys that they believe may not have been looked into to contact police.
Chairman of the Parole Board, Professor Nick Hardwick, who apologised after some victims were not contacted ahead of the announcement that Worboys is to be released, will be summoned before the House of Commons Justice Committee to explain how the decision for release was reached.
Chairman of the committee, Conservative MP Bob Neill, called for the Parole Board’s processes to be made more transparent, saying it is “ridiculous that the current rules prevent the board making public the reasons for their decisions”.