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‘Black cab rapist’ John Worboys facing fresh charges amid growing anger over his release

Police and prosecutors have indicated they are prepared to bring fresh charges against John Worboys, the ‘black cab rapist’, amid a growing furore over why dozens of crimes were never brought to trial in the first place.

Police issued an appeal for information that could lead to a fresh investigation into Worboys, one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said three rape and sex assault cases dating back to Worboys’ conviction but not presented at trial could now be used against him. 

The CPS suggested the Metropolitan Police could re-submit the files dating back to 2009 when Worboys was jailed for a minimum of eight years.

The Parole Board’s decision made public on Thursday to sanction Worboy’s release by the end of the month has devastated his victims, who have complained they were not informed of the decision.

One victim said: “Regardless of his parole conditions I don’t think I would feel safe. It’s a really sickening thought that he will be roaming the streets once again.”

The mother of another victim said it was alarming to think that Worboys as a former cab driver had taken women to their home addresses.  “He’s a serial rapist and he knows where she [my daughter] lives,” said the mother.

The taxpayer will now have to foot the substantial bill keeping Worboys, 60, under surveillance when he moves to a bail hostel in the community.

Harry Fletcher, a former leader of the probation union Napo and who now runs Victims Rights Campaign, said: “Worboys will be allowed out during the day under the terms of his release. Police will have to mount covert surveillance both to protect him and the public. The cost is enormous.”

John Worboys on his wedding day in 1991

Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer with law firm Slater Gordon, who represents 11 of Worboys’ victims, questioned why more historic allegations could not be revived that could keep Worboys in jail.

In 2010, police said they believed he had committed more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults during a reign of terror while a taxi driver in London. Worboys, a former stripper, drugged his victims and then raped them, keeping a ‘rape kit’ in his boot.

Mr Scorer said: “I don’t see why police cannot reopen these cases. Of my clients Worboys was charged with offences against three of them while eight have not been heard in court.”

Mr Scorer said Worboys had never shown remorse either during the criminal trial in 2009 or in the course of a civil claim against him four years later. 

John Worboys in his days as a stripper

Mr Scorer added: “If he still denies his crimes, then he clearly poses a continuing risk to women. If he now admits that he deliberately and systematically drugged and raped women, then the police need to look at whether there are any crimes that he was not convicted of and seek justice for those victims.”

The Parole Board has declined to give details of the process that led to approval of his release.

Lord Macdonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “There is nothing to stop police examining the cases at any time and where they think there is sufficient evidence to submit it to the CPS for charging. There is no statue of limitation.”

At his trial, Worboys was convicted of just one rape and a further five sexual assaults, effectively restricting the possible sentencing options of the trial judge.

The CPS said that the testimony of 14 victims was used to secure Worboys’ conviction while a further three complaints “passed the evidential test” but it was decided did not need to go before the courts. Those three cases could now be examined afresh.

Worboys’ taxi

In the case of another 69 complaints it was decided there was insufficient evidence to bring charges. Following Worboys’ conviction, 19 more women came forward but it was decided it was not in the public interest to arrange a second trial since Worboys was already in jail.

It is not clear why those cases could not be re-examined. 

The Metropolitan Police which bungled the initial complaints of rape dating back as far as 2002, said last night: “As no new information has been received at this time, there is currently no live Met investigation. Should any further information come to light it will be fully investigated.”

Sir Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions at the time of the trial and now the shadow Brexit secretary, also urged more women to come forward.

He had been criticised for failing to bring more charges against Worboys at the time but the CPS said yesterday he had no role in the case.

Sir Keir said: “If there are any allegations against John Worboys that anybody thinks have not been looked into I would urge them to contact the police immediately so they can be investigated in full.”

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/05/black-cab-rapist-john-worboys-facing-fresh-charges-amid-growing/

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