Judicial Review on behalf of two victims of John Worboys issued in High Court today.
Dossier of unreported cases and cases reported but not prosecuted to be presented to police and CPS urging new charges to be brought
On 25 January solicitors on behalf of two women who were raped and sexually assaulted by John Worboys issued a claim for judicial review against the Parole Board and the Secretary of State for Justice (SSJ) challenging the decision to release John Worboys (now known as John Radford) from prison. The application includes a request for urgent consideration seeking a stay of the release of Worboys pending the outcome of the proceedings.
The two Claimants are known as ‘DSD’ and ‘NBV’ from previous proceedings against the Metropolitan police arising from their failures to investigate their original reports of attacks by Worboys. The Claim incorporates two grounds. The first ground directed at both the SSJ and Parole Board argues that Rule 25 of the Parole Board rules which prohibits the publication of any reasons for a Parole Board decision is ‘ultra vires’ and therefore unlawful as it imposes a blanket ban on disclosure of reasons and thereby abrogates the fundamental principle of open justice. The second ground argues that the Parole Board decision is irrational on the basis of all known facts including: the long history of cold calculated attacks on a large number of women; Worboys’ failure to acknowledge his guilt until, if at all, very recently; and the fact he has remained throughout his sentence in a high security prison without testing in open conditions, the Board having decided he was unsafe to transfer as recently as two years prior to the Parole Board decision to release him.
The two Claimants who were not informed of the decision to release Worboys nor consulted on licence conditions are convinced that Worboys remains a danger to women. Their view is shared by many victims who have come forward recently, as well as the public at large. The Claimants, who would much rather put this case behind them, consider they must do all they can to reduce the risk to other women and seek public accountability. To ensure that they are not at any financial risk by bringing this claim a Crowd Justice campaign has been launched and an appeal for ongoing support is being made. Although other parties may also be launching challenges the perspective of victims is paramount in a case of this nature https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-worboys-release/.
Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the Claimants has been contacted by a number of other victims of Worboys and she will be presenting a dossier of cases to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service requesting they investigate further and prosecute. The dossier includes two previously unreported cases from 2002 and 2003 and two cases that were investigated by the police that would pass the evidential threshold but have not been prosecuted.
For further information:
DSD was raped by Worboys in 2003 and reported to the police immediately. NBV was attacked in 2007 and also reported immediately. They subsequently brought a human rights claim against the police for their abject failures in the original investigations. The court has found in their favour, although police appealed to the Supreme Court and a decision is still awaited. NBV was a complainant in the criminal trial and Worboys was convicted of offences against her. DSD was told that her case passed the evidential threshold but they did not need her to provide evidence as the CPS did not wish to overload the indictment. Both women were assured that Worboys would not be released for a very long time. Neither women were contacted about the parole process and the first they learnt of the decision to release him was on 4th January 2018, when this was reported in the media.