A government announcement that it will not challenge a Parole Board decision to release prolific ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys has been met with outrage on social media.
Justice Secretary David Gauke told MPs in the Commons on Friday that it would “not be appropriate” to judicially review the decision around Worboys’ impending release, which was approved by the Parole Board.
The decision contrasts with what Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said just last week. Lewis said the government was doing “everything we can” to keep Worboys behind bars.
Gauke admitted that the decision “will disappoint the victims in this case and members of this House given the crimes for which he has been convicted.” He added: “On a personal level, candidly I share those concerns.”
While the Conservative government has decided not to challenge the Parole Board's decision, London's mayor Sadiq Kahn is rejecting the decision and wants to see it reassessed.
"It's astonishing and extremely disappointing that the Government is accepting John Worboy’s release without challenge," Kahn said.
"I won't. I’m seeking a judicial review of the Parole Board's decision."
It's astonishing and extremely disappointing that the Government is accepting John Worboy’s release without challenge. I won't. I’m seeking a judicial review of the Parole Board's decision. pic.twitter.com/vUJKFTnqdU
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 19, 2018
Former black cab driver Worboys, 60, was jailed in 2009 for assaulting 12 women in London. He would offer his victims champagne laced with drugs after falsely claiming he had made a large lottery win. He is believed to have sexually assaulted over 100 women in total, police say.
The former stripper and porn actor was ordered to serve at least eight years in jail, and was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP), which meant that he could be kept in prison indefinitely so long as he was deemed to be a danger to the public.
In November, however, the Parole Board approved Worboys’ release. Two of his victims have been crowdfunding for legal representation to challenge his release, and say they only found out he was leaving prison through the media.
The conservative government’s announcement it would leave the Parole Board’s decision is already proving unpopular, with enraged members of the public taking to social media to air their disgust.
“Worboys serves 28 days per rape victim,” one Twitter user pointed out, tagging the incorrect profile for 10 Downing Street.
Another called for the Parole Board itself to be put away for their decision.
#Worboys escapes a #judicialreview of his early release? He rapes close to 100 women and he’s let out?
The #paroleboard should be put away for this!
The quality of life for his victims just spiralled and a new all time low president is set in #UKJustice. For God sake you idiots?
— Paul PJ Shanley (@paulshanleyuk) January 19, 2018
Others questioned how long it will take for him to attack again.
Incredible. How can anyone believe that a man that has committed 100 attacks on women be anything other than an inveterate abuser. How long until he attacks another women and we have officials wringing their hands and apologising? #Worboyshttps://t.co/sGMS4u8mLr
— rickdiculous_me (@rickdiculous_me) January 19, 2018
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