Worboys Victims Win Judicial Review | Decision to Release Overturned

The release of John Worboys has been quashed after victims won a judicial review. After a court ruling this morning Worboys will remain in prison unless and until a new Parole Board panel grants his release. More follows…

Worboys Judicial Review Gets Go-Ahead

The High Court today ruled victims can challenge the decision to release John Worboys. Lord Leveson granted leave for a full judicial review against the Parole Board. A hearing will take place on 13 March. Worboys will stay locked up. 

Victims, The Sun newspaper and Sadiq Khan backed the campaign for a judicial review. A spokesman for The Sun said:

“We’re pleased that alongside Mr Worboys’ victims and the Mayor of London, we can pursue our challenge to a full judicial review. There is a clear case to be made for greater transparency and we look forward to making it again next month. The public interest is not served by the current wall of secrecy surrounding the reasons for Mr Worboys’ release.”

Good decision from Brian…

Sun & Mail Launch Worboys Judicial Review Proceedings

Tonight The Sun and The Daily Mail have begun judicial review proceedings to force the Parole Board to reveal its reasons for allowing black cab rapist John Worboys to be freed. They have seven days to publish the Worboys reasoning or else the two newspapers will launch a legal challenge. Elsewhere, tomorrow’s papers report that a fresh sex assault allegation may keep Worboys behind bars. Wheels in motion to keep Worboys inside, at last…

Met Receive Fresh Worboys Complaint

The Metropolitan Police Service is investigating an allegation of non-recent sexual assault which was reported to police in January 2018. The incident is reported to have taken place in 1997.
 
Enquiries by officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are ongoing. There are no arrests.

Breaking…

Gauke Refuses to Join Calls to Ban Worboys From London

David Gauke was under more pressure in the Commons today as MPs queued up to ask why he isn’t doing more to make sure John Worboys is banned from Greater London, where his hundreds of victims live. The Justice Secretary refused to back calls for a Greater London exclusion zone, despite the MoJ engaging with the licence conditions process on a daily basis. Why would Gauke not do the obviously right thing and endorse victims’ calls for an exclusion zone? Yet again a desperately weak response from the government…

UPDATE: Guido understands Gauke wrote to the Probation Service two weeks ago to ask them to consider if it is appropriate to exclude Worboys from Greater London. Not the same as demanding he is banned from the capital…

Gauke Bottles Worboys Legal Challenge as Sadiq Launches Judicial Review Proceedings

On Sunday the government said it would do everything possible to keep John Worboys behind bars, well it’s taken them five days to break that promise – David Gauke has bottled his judicial review. This really is weak from the new Justice Secretary, especially since JR experts including Lord Pannick said he would have had a good chance of success. Guido understands that Sadiq Khan is instead going to launch judicial review proceedings of his own. Khan has instructed lawyers to send a pre-action protocol letter for judicial review to Nick Hardwick, the chair of the Parole Board. The Mayor of London stepping up, unlike the Justice Secretary…

The MoJ have handled this situation farcically from the beginning. It’s obvious Gauke knows the decision to release Worboys is wrong otherwise he would never have considered JRing it. And he let victims believe he would stop him from coming out. There is a lot more the Justice Secretary could do to keep his promise to victims and yet, in the pocket of his civil servants, he has so far done nothing. And now Sadiq has taken the initiative…

Crowdfund Legal Challenge to Keep Worboys in Prison

Two victims of John Worboys are launching a judicial review of the decision to release him – their last hope to keep the black cab rapist behind bars and be told on what grounds the Parole Board believe him to safe to the public. Judicial reviews are expensive, the victims’ legal bid is being crowdfunded as they try to raise the cash to get it to court. Guido cannot think of a better cause – you can donate here

Parole Board Admit Processes Breached, Decision May Be Wrong and Worboys Could Reoffend

The chairman of the Parole Board has all but admitted that procedures were breached during the John Worboys case, that the decision to release him could be wrong and that the black cab rapist could reoffend. In a statement welcoming the judicial review of the Parole Board’s decision, Nick Hardwick says “there should be an independent investigation” because “some victims who should have been kept informed were not and victims and the public deserve to know exactly what happened”. Hardwick concedes that the Parole Board’s decision to release Worboys could be wrong: “Do they always get it right? No”. And he admits it is possible Worboys could reoffend: “I would not be honest if I pretended risk could be eliminated completely”. Hardwick implies the decision to release Worboys was based on “evidence of how the prisoner has changed”, yet also confirms he was deemed too dangerous to move to an open prison just two years ago. This is clearly the Parole Board trying to cover their backs knowing they’ve messed up. How can the Justice Secretary possibly let Worboys out now?

Worboys Psychologist Campaigned For Soft Justice For Sex Offenders

The psychologist who reportedly influenced the decision to release rapist John Worboys has spent her career calling for a softer approach to dealing with sex offenders, Guido can reveal. Yesterday’s papersreported that Dr Jackie Craissati was hired by Worboys’ defence team to compile the report that helped convince the Parole Board he should be released. She declined to comment. We can now reveal that Dr Craissati has spent the last 30 years lobbying for soft justice for sex offenders:

  • She was quoted in an article headlined “Can paedophiles be good people?” downplaying the crimes of less “severe” child sex abusers, even comparing some sex offenders to people involved in bar fights
  • She claimed the police should only be “worried about” 25% to 33% of people who access child pornography, despite evidence showing the number who pose a risk is 85%
  • Wrote a book aimed at the Probation Service calling for “a community treatment approach” for sex abusers
  • She began the book by quoting extensively from Lolita
  • She repeatedly promoted pro-release viewpoints and downplayed the likelihood of sex offenders to reoffend, writing that “not all perpetrators reoffend, and some not for long periods of time” and “The message that ‘there is no cure’ is disheartening and probably untrue: it would seem that – despite under-reporting – a number of convicted sex offenders do not sexually reoffend”
  • She unbelievably argued that “treatment… has allowed some [abusive] fathers and children to re-establish a warm and close relationship” 
  • She criticised the “excessive emphasis” on “punitive controls” on sex offenders for “increasing an offender’s emotional instability”
  • She wrote an academic paper asking “Should we worry about sex offenders who deny their offences?”, in which she claimed there was a lack of association between sex offenders denying their crimes and an increased risk of reoffending
  • She has criticised media coverage of paedophiles: “The coverage tends to make child molesters defensive, anxious, withdrawn, uncooperative. It makes my job much more difficult. It makes them go back into themselves”
  • In just two weeks she is due to give a speech at Goldsmiths University titled “Ten myths about sex offenders” where she will criticise the “emotionally-driven response” of the public

The psychologist who reportedly wrote the Worboys report has spent her career calling for sex offenders to be “treated” in the community and downplaying their likelihood to reoffend. Just this month she is due to lecture us on “myths” about sex offenders. Is this how Worboys ended up being approved for release? Because some right-on academic with a penchant for soft justice has been waging a 30-year personal crusade against giving sex offenders the punishment they deserve? The public should be told…

Lord Pannick Backs Worboys Judicial Review

A judicial review of the decision to release black cab rapist John Worboys has been backed by Lord Pannick QC, one of the country’s leading JR experts. Pannick tells the Times that he endorses Justice Secretary David Gauke’s attempts to JR the Parole Board, and says the challenge should focus on whether the board followed a fair process: “The process issue appears to turn on whether the victims have been properly consulted, as fairness requires”. This is the key point: it has now emerged that there were multiple clear breaches of the proper procedure – victims were not consulted on either his release or the conditions, as was their right. Which means the original process is now likely to be declared unsound. With Pannick’s expert backing, Gauke has no excuse not to proceed…

Worboys Victims Formally Ask CPS to Reassess 93 Unprosecuted Cases

Biggest development in the Worboys story yet. Lawyers for the black cab rapist’s victims have written to the Crown Prosecution Service formally asking them to reassess 93 unprosecuted cases against him. Lawyers from Slater and Gordon and Birnberg Pierce wrote:

“As you would expect, our clients were shocked and dismayed to learn of Worboys’ imminent release. The decision of the Parole Board, the manner it was communicated to victims (most found out through the media), and the seeming failure to put in place proper measures to protect victims following his release are all matters of grave concern to our clients; we are raising these matters with the appropriate authorities.

However the purpose of this letter is to formally request that the CPS undertake a thorough review of all available evidence against Worboys to determine whether he can be prosecuted in respect of further offences.

Worboys was only prosecuted in respect of a small fraction of the allegations against him: 12 complainants out of some 105 in total whom, we understand made complaints to the police.

It is understood that the intention was that ‘the indictment was not overloaded and that the case was as simple as it could be to present to a jury’. In the course of the trial an additional four allegations emerged which were linked to Worboys. Furthermore, in the wake of media observations following the conviction an additional 45 incidents were reported of which 18 were linked to Worboys. The total number of allegations linked to Worboys upon the closure of the investigation was 105.

Victims were told Worboys would “not be coming out for a long time” and, as a result, it was not necessary to prosecute the serial rapist with another trial. To the extent that this was the CPS’s expectation at the time, this has clearly not happened and this justification for not bringing further prosecutions has fallen away. We therefore formally request that the CPS make a public commitment to reconsidering the evidence in all Worboys cases with a view to further prosecution.”

These cases against Worboys were not dropped for lack of evidence, but rather “in the public interest” because they thought he would never be coming out. Ball now in the CPS’s court to seek justice for those women who never had their day in court, and keep the public safe from Worboys once and for all…

“Absolute Disgrace” Worboys Victims Not Consulted About Licence Conditions

Significant developments in the John Worboys story this afternoon. It has been revealed that the sex attacker’s victims have not yet been allowed to make representations to the Parole Board about his licence conditions, despite the meeting to finalise the conditions taking place tomorrow. Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represented 11 of Worboys’ victims, is demanding to know why victims have received no notification of the meeting and insisting a ban is imposed on Worboys visiting Greater London. He has issued this extraordinarily damning statement accusing the criminal justice system of treating victims with “contempt“:

“It is unbelievable that Worboys’ victims have not been consulted on their attacker’s licence conditions when they are living in fear of his release. Considering the shambles of this sorry episode so far it is inexcusable that all victims have not been asked to make representations about his restrictions. Our clients already felt betrayed by the way they have been treated by the criminal justice system; they now feel like they are being treated with the utmost contempt. This is an absolute disgrace and we demand that all victims – those involved in the criminal trial and those who were not – are consulted before Worboys’ licence conditions are finalised.”

How can it be that victims have not yet been consulted on the conditions of Worboys’ licence? The Ministry of Justice is handling this spectacularly badly – they need to get a grip, it is in danger of blowing up into a national scandal…

UPDATE: A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said:

“The licence conditions for John Worboys have not been finalised, and he will not be released until victims have had an opportunity to make representations to the Parole Board on his licence conditions.”

“Public Can’t Have Faith in Our Criminal Justice System Until Worboys Decision is Published”

Real anger in the Commons during the statement on John Worboys this afternoon. Zac Goldsmith told the new Justice Secretary that “until the Parole Board publicly explains the rationale behind the decision it took, people can’t possibly have confidence in our criminal justice system”. David Gauke replied that he will look at changing the rules to allow this to happen retrospectively for the Worboys case. It’s crucial that the Ministry of Justice get a move on here. The Parole Board must surely explain how they came to this decision before Worboys is released, otherwise how can the public possibly be safe?

Gauke Must Tell Parole Board to Explain Worboys Decision

Justice Secretary David Gauke jumps straight into his new job with a statement on John Worboys at 1:15pm. Over the weekend we learned that the Parole Board was considering publishing a rationale of its decision to release Worboys, though nothing has been forthcoming.[…] Read the rest

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Worboys Boasts He’s “Ready For the Ladies” When He Gets Out

Today’s papers reveal rapist John Worboys has boasted that he is “ready for the ladies” when he gets out of prison. A prison source says:

“He exercises daily in the gym to get himself ready for release. He says he wants a ‘porn star’ body to be ready for the ladies.

[…] Read the rest

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+Parole Board Chair Summoned Before Justice Committee
+Bob Neill Slams “Ridiculous” Lack of Transparency

The chair of the Parole Board Nick Hardwick has been summoned before the Justice select committee to explain himself over the decision to release rapist John Worboys. Justice committee chair Bob Neill says the Parole system must be made more transparent, condemning the inability of the Parole Board to give any details about the Worboys decision as “ridiculous“.[…] Read the rest

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Parole Board In the Dock: The Guilty Men Releasing Worboys

These are the two men in charge of the Parole Board which has decided to release serial sex attacker John Worboys from prison. Above left is the Parole Board’s chief executive Martin Jones, a career civil servant who has the leading role in the board’s decision making.[…] Read the rest

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Starmer Was DPP Who Didn’t Prosecute Worboys For 75 Sex Assaults

A huge scandal is breaking over how the inexplicable decision has been made to release serial rapist John Worboys from prison. Worboys was convicted of one rape, five sexual assaults and 12 charges of drugging women, before 75 further women came forward with complaints against him.[…] Read the rest

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