Today the High Court announced that it had overturned the parole board’s decision to allow John Worboy’s release back into the public. The infamous sex criminal who had earned the moniker The Black Cab Rapist was prosecuted for the rape of 12 women, but evidence suggests he was actually responsible for hundreds of sexual assaults across London over a period of six years. Police faced heavy criticism after it emerged they had received over 85 complaints against John Worboy which they had failed to investigate them, allowing him to remain free for years. While there is no fixed estimate on the number of his victims, police state that it is probably at least a hundred.
Exploiting his job as a black cab driver, John Worboys would drug and rape as many as four women in a single night. The decision to release what could possibly be one of the UK’s worst ever rapists left most of the public baffled, and the former victims furious and devastated by the news. The parole board hadn’t even notified the women that their attacker would be realised, despite it being a requirement of a criminal’s release.
JUSTICE: 'Black cab rapist' John Worboys to stay in prison after victims launch legal challenge, ex-parole board chief resigns.— Westmonster (@WestmonsterUK) March 28, 2018
This monster should never see the light of day again.https://t.co/geJsaQ9vxi
In response to the backlash the parole board remained adamant, stating that it was not their job to explain themselves. This was in spite of high-level government officials, like the Home Secretary, asking for the parole board to clarify why they had decided to release Mr Worboy from prison.
In fact, given that the parole board exists as part of the judicial system and is always duty bound to uphold public protection, being held accountable by the public is absolutely 100% part of their job. Something they found out today when the High Court saw fit to overturn their decision, prompting the chairman of the board Professor Nick Hardwick to resign. Meanwhile the Justice Secretary David Gauke has called on the parole board to make changes to how it makes decisions.
Parole Board must reconsider decision to release John Worboys https://t.co/4pk0x00wmr— The Guardian (@guardian) March 28, 2018
As part of the decision the High Court judges said that the board should have “undertaken further inquiry into the circumstances of Worboys’ offending and, in particular, the extent to which the limited way in which he has described his offending may undermine his overall credibility and reliability. That is so even in relation to the offences of which he was convicted, let alone any other offending.”
“In the light of our decision, the release direction will be quashed and Mr Radford's case remitted to the Parole Board for fresh determination before a differently constituted panel.”
The decision to release rapist John Worboys has been overturned. https://t.co/8L3PyUChSG— Twitter Moments UK & Ireland (@UKMoments) March 28, 2018
When the Parole Board did finally see fit to explain some of its decisions, it was revealed that Worboys’ release had been caused by four primary factors. First, he took full responsibility. Second, he underwent treatment. Third, he demonstrated insight into his triggers and risk factors. And fourth, he had been open and honest with professionals.
In contrast, the High Court ruled that the parole board should have taken Worboys’ wider crimes into context, not just the 12 he was prosecuted for, and they should have taken note of how he discussed his crimes in a limited manner so as to downplay the sheer scope of what he had done.
Bizarrely, Worboys chose to have serial killer Levi Bellfield accompany him to meetings with the parole board. We imagine that striking a close friendship with a serial murderer of women might be considered something of a warning sign.
Hopefully such mistakes will not be repeated in the future, and for now the former victims of Worboys can rest knowing that their attacker will remain behind bars.