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Justice: Decision to Release John Worboys Overturned

28 Mar 2018

The High Court today (28th March 2018) overturned the Parole Board decision to release serial rapist and sexual offender John Worboys.

The Parole Board has been ordered to carry out a 'fresh determination' in the case, and Worboys will remain in prison pending the outcome.

Giving judgment, Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice Jay and Mr Justice Garnham said that the Parole Board should have undertaken "further inquiry into the circumstances of his offending".

Their decision came after evidence was heard over two days earlier this month as a result of a challenge brought by two of Worboys' victims – DSD and NBV.

The judgment also called for the Justice Secretary to revise for 'Rule 25', which bans reasons for Parole Board decisions being made public, deeming it unlawful and contrary to the principle of open justice.

Rape Crisis is delighted by this ruling and we call on the Ministry of Justice to consider the issues raised by the survivors in this case as they review Parole Board procedures.

We believe the case has highlighted the urgent need for more openness, transparency and reforms throughout the criminal justice system, which currently fails survivors of rape and sexual abuse all too often.

We want to honour and pay tribute to the two survivors who have fought with such tenacity to hold the state to account. This legal challenge follows on from their success at the Supreme Court where it was ruled in February that the police have a duty to properly investigate rape and sexual violence.

We also want to recognise that this challenge was dependent on crowdfunding, as no legal aid was available; we extend our solidarity and gratitude to all those who were moved by the campaign to contribute financially.

Here is the official summary of today’s high court judgment (pdf).

And here is the judgment in full (pdf).