Judges urged to take ‘greatest care’ considering Worboys case
The serial sex attacker’s barrister told the court Worboys had been given his freedom and then had it ‘taken away’.
Lawyers for black cab rapist John Worboys have urged High Court judges to take the “greatest care” when considering whether to overturn a Parole Board decision to release him.
Worboys, 60, who now goes by the name John Radford, watched via a video link from prison as his barrister said the serial sex offender has had his freedom “taken away from him”.
Edward Fitzgerald QC told the court in London on Wednesday: “He has completed his tariff and he is therefore entitled to be released if it is not necessary for the protection of the public that he be detained.
“The Parole Board had directed his release, he was entitled on their direction to freedom and he has had that taken away.
“I think it is a unique case in which someone who has been granted his freedom has then had it taken away from him.
“If ever there was a case for the judicial review jurisdiction to be exercised with the greatest care and anxious scrutiny, it is this case.”
Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009 with a minimum term of eight years after being found guilty of 19 offences, including rape, sexual assault and drugging, committed against 12 victims.
He became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims in his hackney carriage.
Police believe he committed crimes against 105 women between 2002 and 2008, when he was caught.
Two women, who cannot be named for legal reasons, say something went “badly wrong” with the Parole Board’s decision to free him, and that it was “irrational” and should be quashed.
They say the Parole Board should have taken into account “critical evidence” of the “wider allegations” against Worboys.
But Mr Fitzgerald argued the board had “specialist expertise” and carefully scrutinised all the evidence before it when making its decision.
He said it complied with its duty to consider the information placed before it by the Secretary of State for Justice, who had “entrusted” decisions about the release of prisoners to the board.
The barrister also said the board was “entitled” to reach its conclusions based on Worboys’ proven offending and it was not irrational for it not to consider details of “unproven, unindicted offences” based on the belief of police.
He added: “Mr Radford is entitled to say, only if it is very clear that this decision is unlawful should it be interfered with.”
The court previously heard Worboys, who has served 10 years behind bars including remand time, has denied committing any offences other than those he was convicted of.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and The Sun newspaper are also taking part in the legal action.
The Parole Board argues its decision was “lawful and and rational” and was based on appropriate evidence.
A temporary bar on Worboys’ release, initially imposed in January by the High Court, is continuing pending the outcome of the proceedings.