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?
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. He is paid £130,000-a-year.
Above right is the Parole Board’s chair Nick Hardwick. He hit the headlines last year for saying that prisoners held indefinitely after completing their minimum sentences should not have to prove they are safe before being released. A spokesman for the Parole Board says both Jones and Hardwick stand by the decision to release Worboys and accept ultimate responsibility.
The judgement on the Worboys case was made by three unnamed members of the Parole Board. A spokesman for the Parole Board has refused to give their names, citing safety concerns. What about the safety of Worboys’ victims?
Guido also asked if the Parole Board would be releasing any further information explaining or justifying their decision, in light of the massive public outcry. We were told that details of individual cases are usually not released to protect the privacy of the prisoner. A joke.
These men will surely be called before the Justice select committee to explain themselves and the opaque decision-making process that has led to the imminent release of one of the country’s worst prisoners…