The black cab of London cabbie rapist John Worboys
20 January, 2018, 03:12
He is believed to have sexually assaulted over 100 women in total, police say.
Following the government's announcement, their solicitor Harriet Wistrich said: 'We can confirm that in the absence of any unexpected and compelling response from the parole board to our pre-action correspondence, we intend to launch judicial review proceedings against the parole board next week.
Worboys was sentenced to an indefinite prison term with a minimum tariff of eight years after he was convicted of 12 sex attacks in 2009.
The decision to consider Worboys for release without informing all of his victims has been questioned by the chairman of the Parole Board Nick Hardwick who said he was very concerned about the way the case had been handled and apologised unreservedly to the women affected.
Last weekend it emerged Mr Gauke had commissioned advice on the possibility of taking the highly unusual step of seeking a judicial review.
Yvette Cooper, the chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, has said she was "really shocked" by Worboys' release. "They bring this case in the wider public interest".
The justice secretary told the Commons on Friday morning "the bar for a judicial review is very high" and he believed there was "no reasonable prospect of success".
"I fully support the right of victims to take their own legal advice and to challenge the decision", Mr Gauke said.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also said he had instructed counsel over the possibility of a judicial review of the decision.
'Having taken on 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 emphasised that Worboys will not be released until his licence conditions have been finalised, which will see him restricted and monitored, and victims signed up to a contact scheme have had their say on the restrictions.
The annoucement of his release was met with anger by representatives of victims, some of whom were not informed.
"I know this will disappoint the victims in this case and members of this House, given the crimes for which [Worboys] has been convicted", he said.
"The decision by the Parole Board to release John Worboys is astonishing and it is extremely disappointing that the government is accepting this without challenge".
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