John Worboys

Last week it was announced that, following a decision by the Parole Board, the convicted sex attacker John Worboys will be released from prison.

Worboys, a black-cab driver, who was convicted of 19 offences in 2009, including drugging and sexual assaulting women and raping one of his victims, was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of eight years in 2009.

The decision to release him has shocked people, not least the victims of his crimes, some of whom heard about his imminent release in the media.

This case highlights a number of issues with the justice system, not least the question of why victims’ rights are not always put at the heart of the system.

There are many unanswered questions in this case including why the Parole Board has made this decision and why this sentence was not reviewed under the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme.

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed there were files relating to 83 separate complainants during the investigation into John Worboys and a further 19 following his conviction.  Of the 83, 14 complainants formed part of the trial. Of the remaining complaints, most of the cases did not pass the evidential test.

I would like to know if the police will reopen the investigation into any of these other complaints and I have also asked the Government to confirm how many people asked for this sentence to be reviewed under the ULS scheme at the time and who those people were.

I welcome the announcement by the Justice Secretary on Tuesday that there will be a review of the Parole Board’s transparency and its procedures.

I hope that lessons will be learned from the issues raised in this case so that victims can have full confidence in the justice system.