David Gauke considers judicial review of Worboy release

Posted On: 
14th January 2018

Newly appointed Justice Secretary David Gauke is considering a judicial review of the decision to release serial rapist John Worboys.

David Gauke is considering the judicial review of the decision to release serial rapist John Worboys.
PA images

The Parole Board's announcement last week that Worboys would be released sparked outrage from politicians and victims' groups.

He has served less than nine years of what could have been an indefinite sentence for multiple sexual offences against women.

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The Board came under fire both for the decision to release him and for failing to inform Worboys' victims.

The Sunday Times reports Mr Gauke will proceed with a judicial review if he is advised that it has a good chance of success. 

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice told the paper: "The secretary of state commissioned advice last week about the plausibility and potential success of a judicial review; he is minded to move forward if there is a reasonable prospect of success."

Mr Gauke's predecessor, David Lidington also held talks with the chairman of the Parole Board, Nick Hardwick, and Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove about potential steps to improve transparency in the system.

And Theresa May has said ministers will "look at the question of openness and...[the] whole issue too of how victims are kept in touch with what is happening,"


Elsewhere a spokeswoman for the Parole Board told the Observer the decision to release Worboys was the result of extensive evidence. 

“The parole board carefully considered a detailed dossier of evidence of nearly 400 pages and heard evidence from nine witnesses, including four psychologists, two probation officers and three members of prison staff,” she said.