02:13, March 13 98 0 theguardian.com

2018-03-13 02:13:13
High court challenge to release of black-cab rapist begins

Lawyers representing two victims of the serial sex attacker John Worboys go to the high court on Tuesday to challenge the Parole Board’s decision to release him. The urgent judicial review is also being brought on behalf of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. It will subject the board’s decision-making procedures to unprecedented legal scrutiny.

Worboys, 60, a former black cab driver, remains in prison following the outcry over the decision to release him on licence. He now uses the name John Radford. In March 2009, he was convicted of 19 offences against a total of 12 women, including one count of rape.

After the trial, police said they believed he had attacked up to 100 women, plying them with alcohol and drugs before assaulting them. He was jailed indefinitely, with a minimum sentence of eight years. The decision by the Parole Board to release him on licence after less than a decade behind bars emerged in January.

During a preliminary hearing, Worboys sat between prison escort staff in the secure dock of court five in London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

The hearing on Tuesday is in the same courtroom. Three senior judges, Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Garnham and Mr Justice Jay, will hear arguments that a blanket ban on giving reasons for release decisions breaches the principle of open justice. The case is expected to last two days.

Lawyers for the two victims will also claim that the Parole Board failed to take into consideration all relevant issues and that the decision to free him is irrational. The two victims who have brought the challenge have not been identified, but are known by the initials DSD, one of his first victims, and NBV.

Both women have raised money for their claim through a crowdfunding website, Crowdjustice. They have received pledges so far of more than £64,000 and are aiming to reach £100,000.

In a separate judgment, the supreme court last month ordered the Metropolitan police to pay compensation to DSD and NBV because the force had failed to carry out an effective investigation into the serial sex attacker.