NEWS
07/02/2018 13:07 GMT | Updated 07/02/2018 13:45 GMT

John Worboys Ruling: Two Victims Win Right To Challenge Prison Release

Hearing next month.

Two of black cab rapist John Worboys’ victims and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have been given the go-ahead for a High Court challenge against the decision to release him from prison.

The hearing will take place on 13th March and is expected to last two days. Worboys will stay in jail until then. 

Philippa Kaufmann QC told Worboys, who appeared in person at the Royal Courts of Justice, that part of the case brought by two of his victims was that the Parole Board had reached an “irrational” decision. 

PA Wire/PA Images
John Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009

She added that it appeared something has gone “very wrong” and the victims were “concerned not only for themselves but for the wider public and women in particular”.

She said the victims were also concerned that the decision was “made entirely in secret”.

Sir Brian Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Garnham, said he had a difficult experience with a video-link on Tuesday and, in light of that, asked the serial sex attacker to attend in person.

Victims were in court to face black cab rapist 

The court heard that the victims were not expecting him to attend in person and at least one of them was unhappy to learn he would be there.

Sir Brian said: “I am sorry about that but I am sure you will appreciate and you have explained why it is not possible, sensibly, to conduct this hearing without him being present in some way.”

Reacting to the news, Mayor Khan tweeted: “The victims... and all Londoners will be relieved at this ruling. I’m pleased that there will now be an opportunity for thorough scrutiny of this decision by the Parole Board.” 

Worboys, a former stripper and adult film star, was found guilty of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women passengers, in one case raping a woman. He used alcohol and drugs to incapacitate his victims between 2002 and 2008 and became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims in his hackney carriage.

He was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years.

News of his release prompted anger and questions as to why not all of the 102 complainants had their cases brought to trial, with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defending its decision by saying they did not pass the evidential test.

Earlier last month, Justice Secretary David Gauke ruled out a judicial review of the Parole Board’s decision, telling the Commons he believed there was “no reasonable prospect of success”.

Women learned of his release via the media 

Several of Worboys’ victims learned of the decision to release him from prison via the media, an official review has revealed. 

Women who found out through press reports included those who were signed up to a scheme designed to keep them up to date on the case.

Correspondence to victims contained errors, while letters disclosing Worboys was to be freed did not convey the consequences in a “readily understandable” way.

Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey was asked by the Government to carry out an urgent review of contact with Worboys’s victims after authorities came under fierce criticism over their handling of the case.

Her report said that by and large the National Probation Service appeared to have complied with instructions that were relevant at the time but that the quality of correspondence sent over the period of his sentence was described as poor. 

Gauke said: “I fully accept there are things we can do much better. We will take these findings and improve the system.”