Justice Secretary David Gauke told MPs in the Commons on Friday that it would “not be appropriate” to judicially review the decision around Worboys’ impending release, which was approved by the Parole Board.
The decision contrasts with what Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said just last week. Lewis said the government was doing “everything we can” to keep Worboys behind bars.
Gauke admitted that the decision “will disappoint the victims in this case and members of this House given the crimes for which he has been convicted.” He added: “On a personal level, candidly I share those concerns.”
Former black cab driver Worboys, 60, was jailed in 2009 for assaulting 12 women in London. He would offer his victims champagne laced with drugs after falsely claiming he had made a large lottery win. He is believed to have sexually assaulted over 100 women in total, police say.
The former stripper and porn actor was ordered to serve at least eight years in jail, and was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP), which meant that he could be kept in prison indefinitely so long as he was deemed to be a danger to the public.
In November, however, the Parole Board approved Worboys’ release. Two of his victims have been crowdfunding for legal representation to challenge his release, and say they only found out he was leaving prison through the media.
The government’s announcement it would leave the Parole Board’s decision is already proving unpopular, with enraged members of the public taking to social media to air their disgust.
“Worboys serves 28 days per rape victim,” one Twitter user pointed out, tagging the incorrect profile for 10 Downing Street.
Another called for the Parole Board itself to be put away for their decision.
Others questioned how long it will take for him to attack again.
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