The Crown Prosecution Service has rejected calls for it to review its decision not to prosecute the serial sex attacker John Worboys for further allegations of sexual assault.
The 60-year old black-cab driver is due to be released from prison at the end of this month after serving almost 10 years for drugging 12 women, sexually assaulting seven of them and raping one.
Lawyers for other alleged victims had asked for 93 other cases to be considered for prosecution by the CPS. Following the Parole Board’s decision to release Worboys, Richard Scorer at Slater and Gordon, which represented 11 of his victims in a successful civil claim, said: “Our clients were led to believe their attacker would not be walking free for many many years, so there was no point in prosecuting him for their allegations. This clearly has not happened and we are left with dozens of women fearing for their safety and feeling sorely let down by the very system that is meant to protect them.”
The Parole Board is able to assess the continued risk posed by prisoners based on psychiatrist and prison guard reports at Parole Board hearings that take place around once a year for each offender. Some of the hearings are oral, some of them written.
In November, a three-person panel of the Parole Board directed the release of Worboys, following an oral hearing. He will be released back into society under strict monitoring on a licence period of at least 10 years.
Parole Board hearings are held in private and reasons for release are not made public, although a consultation is to be launched on how the body shares its decision-making with the public.
The Parole Board is an independent body and its recommendation for Worboys’ release cannot be overturned by the Ministry of Justice.
There are examples of Parole Board decisions being challenged by judicial review in the courts, but only when the prisoner has been denied release.
However, a spokesman for the CPS said: “Our decision-making was on the basis of all available evidence and there are no plans to review it. We would consider further charging advice in the event of matters being referred to us by police. If cases did not pass the evidential test there would have to be new evidence available that altered that assessment before they could be prosecuted. No cases can be prosecuted unless they pass the test in the code for crown prosecutors.”
It said earlier that during the police investigation intoWorboys, files relating to 83 separate complainants were referred to prosecutors. However, only 14 of those passed the “evidential test”.
It said: “Prior to trial, the cases of three further complainants were assessed to have passed the evidential test. However, by that stage it had been decided that there were sufficient counts on the indictment to enable the judge to impose an appropriate sentence in the event of conviction.”
Victims and alleged victims of Worboys are also asking for him to be banned from entering London when he is released. The terms of his licence are yet to be finalised.
One said it would be “a total scandal” if the previous claims against him were not looked at again.
“There are few things more difficult and upsetting than coming forward after being sexually assaulted or raped,” she said. “But when you do, then not to have your evidence taken into account, is much, much worse. What signal does that send? Unless these cases are reopened we can have no faith in the justice system.”