Release of black cab rapist John Worboys on hold

Release of black cab rapist John Worboys on hold

The release of black cab rapist John Worboys from a prison in England has been put on hold after victims won the first step in a legal challenge.

Lawyer Harriet Wistrich said an "urgent application" had been made to the British High Court on behalf of two of his victims for a stay of his release pending a further permission hearing.

She said: "Update - we have been granted a stay on his release until an oral application between February 6-8."

The Parole Board provoked fury this month when it directed Worboys’s release after a decade in prison.

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

Despite being convicted of 19 offences against 12 women, it is feared Worboys may have more than 100 victims.

Ms Wistrich said the papers were lodged on Thursday "because of the urgency" of the situation in trying to stop someone’s pending release from prison.

They were dealt with today by Mr Justice Supperstone.

A half-day hearing is set to be fixed between February 6-8 in which Worboys can have a lawyer make representations on his behalf, according to Ms Wistrich.

After the development, she said: "Obviously it is a first stage. You can not read too much into it but it is obviously good that we have got through the first hurdle.

"Given that somebody’s liberty is at stake I think that the court would have to proceed quickly. We are arguing that he should be in prison after the Parole Board has said that he should be released."

She said Worboys could "potentially" have a claim for damages if the victims fail in their legal battle.

Earlier this week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched his own legal battle at the High Court to try to resist the controversial release, saying he would fight to put the "safety of Londoners and the needs of victims first".

Mr Khan’s decision to begin a legal challenge came after the UK’s Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor David Gauke ruled out a judicial review.

The mayor said he had lodged with the court an application for judicial review of the Parole Board’s decision to release Worboys.

He said: "It was an astonishing and deeply concerning decision that simply cannot go unchallenged. For victims, and all Londoners, it must be properly scrutinised in the courts. The chair of the Parole Board has welcomed this scrutiny.

"I will always put the safety of Londoners and the needs of victims first - which is why I instructed leading counsel to begin this process last week.

"Londoners need to know that those in authority are doing everything they can to keep them safe, and that means keeping dangerous individuals off our streets."

Worboys became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims in his Hackney Carriage.

The notorious predator has already been moved to a London jail ahead of his release, prompting outrage among his victims based in the capital.

The 60-year-old was transferred from HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire to HMP Belmarsh, south-east London, at the weekend, it is understood.

On Tuesday, police said they were investigating a fresh allegation of historical sexual assault which is understood to have been made against Worboys.

The incident was alleged to have taken place in 1997 and was reported to police this month. Worboys has not been arrested.

More in this Section

Extinction Rebellion co-founder sorry for ‘crass words’ about HolocaustExtinction Rebellion co-founder sorry for ‘crass words’ about Holocaust

Corbyn declares war on rich and powerful with ‘manifesto of hope’Corbyn declares war on rich and powerful with ‘manifesto of hope’

Ukraine probes pursued at direction of Donald Trump, impeachment inquiry toldUkraine probes pursued at direction of Donald Trump, impeachment inquiry told

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud and briberyIsraeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud and bribery


Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

The former heptathlete and all-round super woman chats to Lauren Taylor about how to stay fit in pregnancy and body confidence after a baby.Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: ‘There’s still a lot of stigma attached to exercising pregnant’

Behaving aggressively is a stage many toddlers go through. The author of The Wonder Weeks explains how parents should deal with kids who kick & bite.Ask an expert: How can I stop my toddler kicking and biting?

As Darina Allen marks 21 years of her column for The Irish Examiner, Weekend editor VICKIE MAYE pays tributeWeekend Editor: 'Darina has helped us put dinners on the table, week in and week out'

More From The Irish Examiner