Crowdfund launched in support of two women’s challenge to Parole Board
Letter before claim sent requesting stay of release pending legal challenge
January 17, 2017
TODAY, two victims of the ‘Black Cab rapist’, John Worboys, launched a legal challenge to find out the reasons Worboys was granted parole and to challenge the decision itself. A crowdfund has been launched to support the victim’s legal efforts to overturn the decision to release.
The crowdfund will be live on CrowdJustice, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to raising funds and awareness for legal cases: www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-worboys-release
A letter before claim has been sent to the Parole Board requesting to stay the release of Mr Worboys pending the outcome of the legal proceedings. The letter outlines that Worboys’ “deeply entrenched, deliberate and carefully formulated” behaviour was unlikely to change and questioned why the rapist was denied a move from high-security Wakefield Prison to a lower security open prison in 2015 but just over two years later was granted parole.
Given how dangerous John Worboys was a mere ten years ago and that he continued to protest his innocence until a few years ago the decision to release him by the Parole Board is incomprehensible to the two women and many of the other victims.
By the time John Worboys was eventually apprehended and the case went to trial 83 cases had been linked. DSD was one of his earliest known victims. He drugged and sexually assaulted her in early 2003. NBV was drugged and sexually assaulted by him in 2007, his 75th known victim. They both came forward to the police but were failed by Police investigations leaving Worboys free to continue his campaign of attack.
NBV said: “I can’t watch the news or read the papers. My heart freezes when I hear his name. Seeing his face makes me feel unwell. He’s ruining my life all over again”
DSD said: “Since hearing the news I have been in a state of complete shock and panic. How can a prolific sex offender be rehabilitated in a short space of time when he has never admitted to his guilt or shown any remorse. In 2003 when I reported to them I had been raped I was told, “a black cab driver just wouldn’t do it”. I said at the time if they didn’t find him he would do it again. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we would go on to do it again another 100 times, that we know of. Unfortunately, I do not share their confidence and I am convinced he will reoffend.”
Harriet Wistrich, solicitor at Birnberg Peirce Ltd and Director of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: “This will be an unprecedented legal challenge. There is an arguable basis in a case raising such concern to challenge the parole board rules preventing publication of reasons for its decision. We note the Chair of the Board agrees about concerns of lack of transparency. On the basis of all the known facts in this case, the decision to release Worboys appears to be so irrational. If we get access to the reasons then we can explore grounds for challenging a decision which has caused so much alarm and is horrific for all the victims concerned”
On 14 January, the Sunday Times reported that the government are exploring a judicial review challenge. However, unlike the case being brought by DSD and NBV, the government will not be able to challenge their own rules about non publication of the decision or the principle that open justice requires a reasoned judgment.
Notes for Editors
DSD and NBV are calling on the public to back its challenge via crowdfunding site CrowdJustice: www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-worboys-release
CrowdJustice is the only platform in the UK dedicated to raising funds and awareness for legal cases. CrowdJustice has established legal crowdfunding as a powerful tool for citizens to access justice and lawyers to take cases that otherwise would not be heard. CrowdJustice is democratising the justice system by empowering people and communities to champion and build support for legal issues that matter to them. CrowdJustice has raised more than £4 million from over 100,000 backers to support legal action in the courts.