Victims of black cab rapist John Worboys told of their relief after his prison release was blocked yesterday, but questioned why they were forced to fight to keep him behind bars.
Two women had brought the landmark case against the Parole Board’s decision to free the serial sex attacker, and used crowdfunding to raise more than £66,000 to pay for the High Court challenge.
One victim, identified only as NBV, said yesterday: ‘Since January this year I have felt frozen in shock, disgusted and traumatised by the thought that Worboys could be on the streets so soon.
‘I felt compelled to bring this case and hold the authorities to account again … News that we have won this case finally brought huge relief. I can get on with my life again without looking over my shoulder.’
Victims of black cab rapist John Worboys told of their relief after his prison release was blocked yesterday. Pictured, one of his victims speaks to the BBC
Another victim, identified as DSD, fought back tears as she said: ‘Justice has been served and a lot of women will sleep better, knowing he will remain behind bars. He’s not somebody that should be walking the streets. I’m thrilled at this decision, but the whole system failed in this case, from start to finish. I feel I have been let down at every step.’
She added: ‘It’s just a shame that we keep having to go to court at every turn to see justice served.
‘Victims shouldn’t be put in this position to keep having to fight through the courts … we should be supported and helped, not have to fight every step in court.’
The outcry over the planned release of the black cab rapist has prompted more than ten other women to come forward with allegations, it emerged.
Worboys was convicted of attacks on 12 women at his 2009 trial after ‘sample’ charges were brought by the Crown Prosecution Service. But police believe he assaulted at least 105 between 2002 and 2008.
Two women had brought the landmark case against the Parole Board’s decision to free the serial sex attacker (pictured)
DSD added: ‘Although we won the judicial review, he can now apply for parole again and at some point he will be released.Further prosecutions are important now to ensure he remains behind bars … he is still capable of reoffending.’
Her solicitor Harriet Wistrich said the CPS had ruled out prosecuting Worboys for any crimes it had already considered, including the attack on DSD.
But the lawyer said she had been contacted by women who had not previously come forward. ‘We know many women still don’t have the confidence to report rape and sexual offences,’ she said. ‘They don’t have confidence the criminal justice system will treat them properly and we have seen in this case that they have reason.’
NBV was believed to be Worboys’s 75th victim and it was her decision to go to police that finally led to his arrest and questioning.
John Worboys was convicted of attacks on 12 women at his trial in 2009 but police believe he assaulted at least 105 between 2002 and 2008
DSD was one of his first victims but said police had not investigated her case properly when she reported it in 2003. She was drugged before she was attacked and Worboys then took her to a police station, but officers thought she was drunk as her words were slurred and she was vomiting.
She returned to the station the next day to make a rape complaint but it later emerged police had failed to record Worboys’s details, including his name or his taxi registration number.
The two women had previously sued the Metropolitan Police for breaching their human rights over a failure to catch Worboys sooner.
The case went through the High Court, the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court which all found in the women’s favour.
DSD said she had faced a 15-year fight for justice, and said other women would have been spared their ordeals if her case had been handled properly.
The CPS decision to charge Worboys only over offences related to 14 women meant he was not charged over the DSD allegation, although she was one of 11 women who received compensation from him in a civil case.
Yesterday she said: ‘I have always said one of the reasons I am doing this is to give women the confidence that they can come forward and it will be dealt with.
‘I wouldn’t want another woman to go through what I have been through the past ten to 15 years.’
She added: ‘It is the whole system that has failed. I feel like I have been let down at every step. It is wrong that we have been put in this situation … I can’t carry on for the next ten to 15 years and keep going into court over various things. That is why I was keen to prosecute … that would give me the ultimate closure and I would be able to get on with my life.’
She said she was ‘very grateful’ to members of the public who had crowdfunded the case.
‘I would never have imagined back in 2008 that I would be in this position of basically being forced to be the justice system,’ she told the Daily Telegraph. ‘Why did it have to be me? I wouldn’t want any other woman to have to go through what I’ve gone through.
‘We were risking everything, but I knew I had to do it … women’s safety has to be more important than money … I’ve always felt we were doing the right thing, it was quite clear mistakes had been made. Thank God they listened.’
Her children have no idea of the trauma their mother endured. She said: ‘It’s difficult for the children because I can’t explain it to them … It’s been the hardest part, to keep doing it, because I have a family … I hope one day, when they’re older, they’ll understand and I think they’ll be proud of me.’
Rachel Krys, of End Violence Against Women, said: ‘It’s too much to expect the victims to bear the weight of getting justice. We have to decide on a better route than relying on these brave women.’