John Worboys,
John Worboys was jailed in 2009 for a minimum for a minimum of eight years Met Police


  • London Black Cab Rapist freed after 10 years despite being linked to 100 attacks.
  • Parole Board urged to explain 'shocking' decision.
  • Chair expresses 'concerns' victims not told of decision.

MPs have urged the Parole Board to explain their decision to free serial sex attacker John Worboys from jail, as it was revealed his victims were not told of his imminent release.

Worbys, dubbed the "London Black Cab Rapist", was found guilty of 19 charges of rape, sexual assault and drugging in 2009 and handed an indefinite sentence, with a minimum of eight years in jail.

He was told at the time he would not be considered for release until he could prove he no longer posed a threat to women.

Following his conviction, the taxi driver was linked to as many as 100 sex attacks against women in the capital between 2002 and 2008.

On 4 January, the Parole Board confirmed he is to be freed at the end of January having spent 10 years in jail, including time in custody on remand.

The decision was criticised by many who feel the time spent in prison for one of the UK's most prolific sex offenders is "woefully short".

Labour's Yvette Cooper is now urging the Parole Board to fully explain its reasoning behind granting Worboy's release

She said: "John Worboys' release after only serving his minimum sentence of eight years is a shocking decision by the Parole Board, and deeply upsetting for the victims who have to live with Worboys' horrific attack for the rest of their lives.

"There are many serious questions why this dangerous man has been given parole after serving such a short sentence for his attacks against women. Given the seriousness of this case, the Parole Board should publish their reasons immediately so both the decision and the process can be scrutinised before this man is released."

The release has also raised further questions from the head of the Parole Board after it was found his victims were not made aware that he will be freed, with some only finding out via the media.

Professor Nick Hardwick added: "I am very concerned some victims were not told about the decision; this must have been very distressing.

"There are robust arrangements in place for victims to be informed through the Victim Contact Scheme. We were told that had been done as usual in this case and released the decision on that basis."

In a tweet, Tory MP Zac Goldsmith said: "How are people supposed to have confidence in the system when the system treats victims with such contempt?

Sir Edward Garnier, a former solicitor-general, told the BBC Radio 4's Today that while Worboy's release is a "shocking decision", the Parole Board must have made it based on evidence, not "what the police believe".

Garnier added: "He was convicted on a certain number of offences, he was sentenced for those offences and the Parole Board would have taken into account all sorts of information and they would have reached a rational conclusion.

"It may be one that other people might disagree with, but that's not the point. Their job is to dispassionately assess what's in front of them and reach a conclusion whether or not the individual is safe to be released."

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary who was then director of public prosecutions, has also come under scrutiny for not prosecuting Worboy for dozens more attacks.

Speaking outside his home, he told reporters: "First and foremost, it's very important that if there are any allegations that anybody thinks have not been looked into, sufficiently or at all, they go to the police and make those allegations so they can be looked into.

"The second important thing is that it's really important that what's said is factually accurate. As you know, the Crown Prosecution Service holds the file on this case, they made the decisions in the case, and it is really important you go to them to get an accurate read-out of the decisions that have been made."

In a statement, the Parole Board said: "We can confirm that a three member panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Mr John Worboys, following an oral hearing.

"The arrangements for Mr Worboys' release will be managed by the Ministry of Justice."