Justice Secretary preparing to halt release of 'black cab rapist' John Worboys

Gauke pledged to do whatever possible

PA GETTYGauke pledged to do whatever possible to keep John Worboys in prison

The justice secretary is preparing to take the Parole Board to judicial review over its decision to set free black cab rapist John Worboys less than 10 years after he was jailed.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "The Secretary of State commissioned mid-last week advice on the plausibility and the prospect of success in a judicial review". Police believe he could have attacked more than 100 victims in total.

David Gauke became Justice Secretary last week
GETTYDavid Gauke became Justice Secretary in last week's cabinet reshuffle

It is understood any challenge would focus on failures to communicate with victims about its decision, or to seek representations from victims on the licensing terms that Worboys would be subjected to.

Sarah Green, from the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: 'The Justice Secretary's potential attempt to try and stop the release of unsafe serial rapist John Worboys is very welcome'.

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The Parole Board announced on 4 January that he would be released from prison, sparking criticism from victims' groups and representatives over the decision and the fact many of his victims were not informed in advance of it being made public.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Parole Board Nick Hardwick has urged MPs to back his calls to change the law to allow the board to better communicate how it arrives at decisions.

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But Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said changing the rules for future cases was "not enough".

Worboys, 60, is to be released after serving a nine year sentence.after being found guilty of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women passengers, in one case raping a woman.

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It comes after the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not review the 93 cases that Worboys was not prosecuted over.

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