John Worboys Victims Challenge Black Cab Rapist's Release From Prison

Urgent judicial review underway into proposed release of black cab rapist Victims’ lawyer claims Parole Board ignored ‘critical evidence’Mayor: ‘Worboys presents a significant threat to Londoner’s safety’Lawyers for two victims of the black cab rapist John Worboys have outlined their case against the Parole Board over its decision to release him. Expected to last two days, the urgent judicial review is also being backed by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and was given the green light last month. Phillippa Kaufman QC, representing the two women, told the High Court on Tuesday that the Parole Board failed to consider “critical evidence” when reaching its decision.She said the board should not have ignored the “wider allegations” of Worboys’ offending than the offences he was convicted of. The court heard police believe he had more than 100 victims, although he was only convicted in relation to some of them.As the case got under way, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement that it was his “top priority to keep Londoners safe”.He said: “I am morally and duty-bound to do everything within my power to protect them from harm. John Worboys presents a significant threat to Londoners’ safety and on behalf of his victims and survivors, I felt I had to be involved.”He added: “Many of John Worboys’s victims live and work in London. I have been clear that he shouldn’t be released at the very least until the decision has been properly independently scrutinised and we are reassured that those in positions of power and responsibility are doing everything they can to keep all his victims, and the rest of us, safe.”Worboys, 60, a former black cab driver, remains in prison following the widespread public outrage over the decision to release him on licence. In 2009, he was convicted of 19 offences against 12 women, including one count of rape. Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years. He is attending the hearing via videolink from prison.A former stripper and adult film star, Warboys used alcohol and drugs to incapacitate his victims between 2002 and 2008, and became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims while working as a driver in London.News of his release, announced in January, prompted anger as to why not all of the 102 complainants against him had their cases brought to trial. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defended its decision by saying the complaints did not pass the evidential test.Speaking last month, Kaufmann QC said part of the case brought by two of his victims was because they felt the Parole Board had reached an “irrational” decision. 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”.In January, 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”. The London Mayor’s legal challenge announced shortly afterwards had called the decision to release Worboys “astonishing and deeply concerning”. Several of Worboys’ victims learned of the decision to release him from prison via the media, an official review 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 the news that Worboys was to be freed did not convey the consequences in a “readily understandable” way, the review found. Related...
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