John Worboys` victims face black cab rapist in court as judicial review granted over release plans

Two of rapist John Worboys` victims came face to face with their attacker after 15 years as a court gave the go ahead to challenge a move to release him.

Feb 7, 2018

Two of rapist John Worboys` victims came face to face with their attacker after 15 years as a court gave the go ahead to challenge a move to release him. Worboys, 60, was brought to the Royal Courts of Justice for a hearing into whether or not the Parole Board`s decision to release him should be overturned. Two judges ruled that a temporary bar on releasing Worboys should be extended, ahead of a full judicial review hearing in the High Court on March 13. Worboys, known as the ‘black cab rapist’, will stay in jail until then. Sir Brian Leveson called him to appear in person due to video link issues. His victims – drugged and raped in the back of his cab – were unaware Worboys would be present, but Sir Brian said it was important he was there. Earlier in the hearing, Worboys agreed that the victims and the Mayor of London should be allowed to see the Parole Board`s reasons for ordering his release. Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers. A recent decision by the Parole Board to release Worboys has sparked outrage about whether he should be freed. Ben Collins, for the Parole Board, told the court: “The board does not wish to take any step to prevent a review of the decision and does not propose to stand in the way.” Phillippa Kaufmann QC, representing two of Worboys` victims, said it appeared something had gone “very wrong” and the victims were “concerned not only for themselves but for the wider public and women in particular”. The victims were also concerned that the decision was “made entirely in secret,” Ms Kaufmann said. Sir Brian said it was likely that he and Mr Justice Garnham would be “minded to grant permission” for the review, but they have not yet made a final decision. Reacting to the ruling, mayor Sadiq Khan said Worboys` victims and Londoners would be “relieved”. “I`m pleased that there will now be an opportunity for thorough scrutiny of this decision by the Parole Board,” he added. Last month lawyers were granted a stay of release after the Parole Board announced the serial sex offender – convicted of 19 offences but suspected of carrying out more than 100 – was to be freed. Worboys has been reported moved back to HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire from HMP Belmarsh in south-east London.

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