'We will do everything we can to make sure this man stays behind bars': Cabinet minister backs bid to block release of 'black cab rapist' John Worboys - amid claims he was refused move to an open prison a year ago

  • Ministers are considering a legal challenge to decision to release John Worboys
  • Worboys is set to be released for prison less than 10 years after he was jailed 
  • Worboys, 60, drugged and sexually assaulted 12 women and also raped another
  • Claims victims were not properly consulted during the Parole Board's decision 

John Worboys (pictured) drugged and raped 12 women and raped one, but police believe he could have attacked up to 102 victims

John Worboys (pictured) drugged and raped 12 women and raped one, but police believe he could have attacked up to 102 victims

A Cabinet minister today backed efforts to block the release of black cab rapist John Worboys — amid claims he was prevented from moving to an open prison a year ago.

Tory chairman Brandon Lewis confirmed that Justice Secretary David Gauke is taking advice on whether a judicial review could reverse the Parole Board's controversial decision.

He said Mr Gauke will push ahead with the legal challenge if it has a 'reasonable' chance of success.

'The Secretary of State for Justice will do everything he can to make sure this man stays behind bars,' Mr Lewis told the BBC's Andrew Marr show. 

Worboys is due to be released from prison less than 10 years after he was jailed for drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women and raping one. 

But police said they believe he could have attacked up to 102 victims — lawyers believe the were 105. 

The predator is understood to have changed his name to John Radford, after the legendary Arsenal centre-forward.

A source told The Sun: 'He seems to think it's funny to use the name of a player from one of his team's biggest rivals.'

Mr Radford, now 70 and who scored 149 goals for Arsenal in 481 appearances, told the newspaper: 'There is nothing I can do about it, is there?' 

Worboys also owns a £300,000 flat in Poole, Dorset, where he previously starred in amateur porn films with a friend.

Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Tory chairman Brandon Lewis confirmed that Justice Secretary David Gauke is taking advice on whether a judicial review could reverse the Parole Board's controversial decision

Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Tory chairman Brandon Lewis confirmed that Justice Secretary David Gauke is taking advice on whether a judicial review could reverse the Parole Board's controversial decision

David Gauke (pictured leaving Downing Street on Tuesday) is under pressure from four cabinet colleagues to bring the matter to a judicial review — the only way to reverse the Parole Board's decision

David Gauke (pictured leaving Downing Street on Tuesday) is under pressure from four cabinet colleagues to bring the matter to a judicial review — the only way to reverse the Parole Board's decision

The tenants, a man and and his teenage daughter, left Pine Park Mansions after last week discovering that Worboys owned the flat. 

It was also revealed that he pocketed at least £160,00 from selling property just months after he was jailed. 

'It's disgusting that after conning the justice system into letting him walk he is able to cling on to so many of his assets,' a source told The Sunday Mirror.

'People will believe Worboys is going to be released and will live in a hovel.'

Worboys is understood to have changed his name to John Radford (pictured), after the legendary Arsenal centre-forward 

Worboys is understood to have changed his name to John Radford (pictured), after the legendary Arsenal centre-forward 

His flat is in Poole — just miles away from neighbouring Bournemouth, where he is feared to have targeted at least four women while working as a cabbie. 

Worboys is believed to have owned a number of properties across London and had more than £80,000 in two bank accounts when he was jailed.  

'That's not the case at all. The reality is he's a wealthy man who will live in the lap of luxury — just miles from his alleged victims. Many of them are terrified at the fact he is set to return.'

Ministers believe the decision to set Worboys free could be unlawful because victims had not been consulted after they were assured he would 'not be coming out for a long time'.

Park Pine Mansions, in Poole, Dorset. The tenants of Worboys' flat - a man and his teenage daughter - left last week after finding out about the property's owner

Park Pine Mansions, in Poole, Dorset. The tenants of Worboys' flat - a man and his teenage daughter - left last week after finding out about the property's owner

Police found a rape kit in the back of Worboys' taxi which including sleeping tablets, condoms and an ashtray he used to crush the drugs (top right) 

Police found a rape kit in the back of Worboys' taxi which including sleeping tablets, condoms and an ashtray he used to crush the drugs (top right) 

Worboys is a former porn actor and stripper who called himself Terry the Minder

Worboys is a former porn actor and stripper who called himself Terry the Minder (left). Shown right, the Hackney flat Worboys shared with his former wife Jean Clayton

The 60-year-old was assessed to no longer be a danger to the public by a panel of three people, who approved his released on licence with 14 secret restrictions.

However, his victims - who were attacked between 2002 and 2008 - only found out though the media. 

It comes as a letter by Parole Board chief executive Martin Jones conceded that victims and the public would 'find it impossible' to understand the decision to release Worboys without a full explanation.

Fresh questions have been raised about the decision amid reports that he was previously prevented from moving to an open prison. The request was declined in November 2016, according to the Sunday Express.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman told MailOnline: 'The Secretary of State commissioned mid-last week advice on the plausibility and the prospect of success in a Judicial Review. 

'He would only be minded to move forward on a Judicial Review if there was a reasonable prospect of success.'

He gave me vodka... I'm sure it was spiked: Worboys victim speaks out 

Carrie Symonds was waiting for a night bus after an evening out in Chelsea in 2007 when she was approached by Worboys, who offered to take her home in his cab.

Tipsy after several drinks, the 19-year-old accepted his lift back to East Sheen in west London, six miles away. On the journey Worboys, who appeared 'friendly and very genuine', persuaded her to drink a glass of vodka.

The next memory Miss Symonds had was waking up at 3pm the next day after being violently sick and passing out in the bath at home. She thought her drink must have been spiked but had so little recollection of what happened that she did not report the incident until February 2008, when police made a public appeal for victims.

Miss Symonds, who waived her right to anonymity, said previously: 'I'll never be able to get in a black cab again … It is terrifying to think what might have happened to me. I think I would instinctively know if I had been sexually assaulted and I'm 99 per cent sure I was not, but that 1 per cent of doubt is always there.' Miss Symonds was one of 14 women who gave evidence against Worboys in court.

She said: 'He offered me a cigarette which I accepted … he told me he'd won a lot of money and showed me stacks of cash. I thought the conversation was seedy but … I wasn't too worried. I just thought he was weird.'

Worboys offered her champagne but she poured it on the floor. She downed the vodka only after he promised to pay her £50 and give her the lift home for free. She added: 'He puts you in a position where you feel indebted to him … He's a professional conman.'

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