John Worboys: Government will not challenge release of black cab rapist

   DROPPED The government will not seek a judicial review of the Parole Board’s decision

Justice Secretary David Gauke said it would "not be appropriate" to seek a judicial review of the case after taking "considered and expert" legal advice.

He was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers.

The parole board said it noted the government's decision not to proceed with judicial review proceedings and welcomed the expansion of the review. Firstly because the Parole Board is the MoJ's creation and he can not therefore challenge his own rules.

Victims of the former black cab driver have also begun their own crowdfunding campaign to launch their own legal challenge against the Board's decision.

But, he announced: "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".

"The test for deciding if a decision is "unreasonable" is not simply that the decision-maker, in this case the Parole Board, could have taken an alternative decision, but that no reasonable person would have come to the same decision on the facts of the case", he said.

"The two women bringing the claim are doing so as they are convinced that Worboys remains a danger to women and that everything should be done to stop his imminent release".

Meanwhile, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the government's decision as "extremely disappointing" - and said he too would be seeking to launch a judicial review.

Another called for the Parole Board itself to be put away for their decision.

"The arrangements for Mr Worboys' release will be managed by the Ministry of Justice".

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.

The Parole Board hailed the move to conduct a review of the decision making process. We are glad that the Secretary of State agrees with our suggestion for an independent review on victim contact in the case of John Worboys. However, police fear he may have had more than 100 victims.

He told some women he had won money at a casino or lottery and offered them spiked champagne, laced with sedatives in an invitation to celebrate with him.

A three-member panel of the Parole Board decided at the end of previous year Worboys could be released as he no longer presented a risk to the public.

"The worry on the part of those who appear at parole hearings regularly is that the intense scrutiny of this decision will make the board more cautious in the future, and that it may be less willing to release people who might otherwise have been given a chance", Mr Stanbury told The Independent.

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