Sadiq Khan and victims welcome ruling on John Worboys release challenge

Sadiq Khan

LONDON: Victims of black cab rapist John Worboys have welcomed a ruling giving them the go-ahead to challenge what they describe as the “irrational” decision to release him from jail. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was also allowed to proceed with judicial review action against the Parole Board, said the decision by two High Court judges on Wednesday was a “relief”. He commented: “The victims of John Worboys, and all Londoners, will be relieved at this ruling.” I’m pleased that there will now be an opportunity for thorough scrutiny of this decision by the Parole Board.” As 60-year-old Worboys listened from the dock of the London courtroom, Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the challenge to the lawfulness of the board’s decision should be considered at a full hearing, starting on March 13.
The judges also ordered that a temporary bar on Worboys’ release, imposed by the High Court last month, should continue pending that hearing. Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, who is representing the victims, said after the hearing: “We are obviously very pleased that permission has been granted to proceed.”We are looking forward to being able to understand and scrutinise all the material before the Parole Board, to consider how to bring forward a challenge.”
She said one of the victims, who was in court throughout the hearing, found it “very, very difficult” that Worboys was brought there from prison. She added: “She felt it was really necessary to be there and to say she wasn’t going to be frightened of him being there, and to challenge his power.
Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers. He became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims in his hackney carriage. Lawyers representing the Parole Board and the Justice Secretary said during the hearing that they were not opposed to a full judicial review going ahead.