John Worby was supposed to be released from prison at the end of last month. However, after an appeal from his victims, a two-day hearing will be held on March 13th to determine whether the Parole Board has made the right choice in granting him release.
The hearing was the first time that Worby was seen in public since his imprisonment in 2009. Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women passengers. However, he is suspected of committing hundreds of sexual attacks in the back of his taxi.
Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey was criticized after it became apparent that some of the victims were only made aware of Worby’s hearing through the press.
The metropolitan police has also been heavily criticized for the way the investigation was handled. Officers have been accused of not taking the victims seriously and dismissing them as drug addicts and drunks.
Worby terrorized the London streets; a 2014 court ruling showed that Worby committed in excess of 105 rapes and sexual assaults upon women in the back of his cab, using drugs and drink to incapacitate them before he was finally caught in 2008.
‘The panel decided he posed low or no risk to the public and approved his release.’
In the 80s, Worby starred and shot amateur porn films from his flat in Poole, Dorset, where he tried to convince young women to appear in his films. In 1996, he completed the test to become a black cab driver and moved to the capital.
In 2001, he was prescribed sedatives by a GP. These sedatives where found stockpiled for his ‘rape kit’. The kit was found in his boot in February 2008 and was compiled of miniature bottles of champagne, clear plastic gloves, a torch, vibrators, condoms and a heavy ashtray in which he crushed his sleeping pills.
He has claimed to be innocent throughout his prison sentence. In November 2017, the Parole Board heard evidence from four psychologists, the prison and probation service, one victim and Worboys himself. The panel decided he posed low or no risk to the public and approved his release.
Now, age 60 and just nine years after he was imprisoned, he could be on the streets again.
His case goes to show the issues that victims of sexual assault face on a daily basis. Worby became one of the UK’s most prolific rapists, and yet he was only sentenced to a minimum of eight years when hundreds of women were left traumatized by his actions. The behavior of the police surrounding the investigation only goes to show why many women are too afraid to step forward after an attack.