Ministers Won't Challenge Release Of Worboys

John Warboys

PAJohn Warboys will be released from prison after the Government turned down a review

BLACK-CAB rapist John Worboys could be freed within weeks after the government opted not to challenge his release.

The Chief Inspector of Probation has also been asked to conduct an independent "fact-finding exercise" to probe why some victims were not properly consulted and informed about Worboys' release.

And he said the attacker will stay in prison until the exact conditions of his licence have been finalised.

In a statement to the Commons on Friday, Mr Gauke said he could not give details of the legal advice he was given but noted that the bar for a judicial review to succeed is "very high".

'The decision by the Secretary of State does not weaken our case at this stage'.

He said: 'I have made clear that I will not bring a legal challenge to the parole board's decision unless there is a reasonable prospect of success.

"Having taken considered and expert legal advice I have decided it would not be appropriate for me as Secretary of State to proceed with such a case".

Mr Gauke did suggest he supported victims seeking their own advice, saying: "Just because I am not taking action, does not mean others can not".

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".

"I am deeply concerned and unhappy about the prospect of Worboys' impending release", he added.

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Labour MP Yvette Cooper said in response today: "Very disappointing". In fact the chair of the Parole Board has welcomed this scrutiny.

Bob Neill, chairman of the Commons justice committee, said the case should lead to an overhaul of rules which ban the Parole board from explaining its decisions.

The announcement will be a bitter blow to Worboys' victims, whose hopes were raised last weekend when it emerged that Gauke was seeking advice on the possibility of launching a judicial review, where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action by a public body.

The Parole Board confirmed it had received a pre-action letter from the victims' solicitors but said it would not be "providing a running commentary" on its consideration.

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.

But he insisted the decision to let Worboys walk free after nine years in jail was in flawless accordance with the rules.

Others questioned how long it will take for him to attack again.

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In November, however, the Parole Board approved Worboys' release.

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