Prolific British rapist, with more than 100 victims, wins parole after 8 years

Originally published at:




So maybe he’s special.

I’d say at that high of a count it’s already amazing 8 years was the sentence. So he’s less likely apparently to reoffend with that specific crime since it’s been 5 years I suppose that’s where they’re going with it. I guess they’re impressed he didn’t escalate to killing people yet so they wanted to give him the chance?

Can I be forgiven for considering the possibility of a Jack Unterweger type situation?


First of all this is not the US, so “one month per offense” doesn’t apply. Although our criminal justice system is overall nearly as lousy as yours, we’ve avoided the insanity of three strikes laws and the like.
I can’t comment on the decision of the parole board (and they will be summoned to explain themselves to a Parliamentary committee anyway) but I can see the logic. Warboys is an extremely nasty man but he didn’t kill or seriously injure his victims. Many rapists do. In a way, advertising to what we might call the “rapist community” that not seriously harming your victims is a much safer strategy, it is possible that deaths could be averted.
I mean, OK, if some prison hard man with a daughter or two had accidentally stuck something sharp into him somewhere fatal I wouldn’t be demanding reform of the prison system, but we’re stuck with the world as it is. One standard argument for the death penalty for murder is that it might persuade a violent criminal not to risk killing someone, though it’s not sufficiently clear that that works to argue in support of a penalty that even Russia has abolished. Therefore the argument in this case may be invalid. There is also the question whether the probation service still has sufficient resources to monitor him. But the approach is not totally irrational.

This is a completely unworkable idea, but how about putting the parole board itself — the people who decide that an offender can safely be released — on the hook? If the offender commits a new crime, the parole board goes to jail, too.


My you have a way with explaining RAPE away, you should be paid, and very well indeed.


Just because you can’t always see the scars from rape doesn’t mean the victims aren’t seriously injured.

This isn’t a “nasty” man, this is a very dangerous man. Because he made just the right noises at the parole board doesn’t mean it’s even close to a good idea to release this man back into the general public.


I thought only Uber drivers could rape people…

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Please try to read all of what I wrote. I’m simply explaining, based on my limited knowledge of certain aspects of the English criminal justice system and the mindset of its practitioners, how I suspect they were thinking.
You both seem to confuse an attempt to explain what I think was going through their heads with my own personal views - which I have stated in a low keyed way, viz.

As I say, they will have to explain themselves to a Commons committee and I would not be surprised if the decision is reversed on grounds of public policy. But it would seem that trying to explain the rather different mindset of the legal system over here to an American audience is to invite personal attacks.


Your system sucks. Our American system also sucks, but not in the same way (and at least in this case, thankfully not as lenient with a rapist convicted of multiple counts).


I didn’t attack you personally, and I did read your whole post. My perspective isn’t tinged with the stereotypical American blood lust for vengeance, though. Odds of sexual predators re-offending are very high. This man will very likely victimize more women. He may, as @TornPaperNapkin notes, escalate his violence. How is releasing him serving any justice for his many, many victims? If any message is being sent to would-be rapists here it’s “rape as many women as you want, you won’t do much time once you’re caught.”


I wouldn’t hold our courts to such a high esteem.

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The chairman of the Parole Board has apologised “unreservedly” after some victims of sex attacker John Worboys were not told about his release.

Nick Hardwick said hearing the decision must have been “horrible” for the women but the board was “confident” 60-year-old Worboys would not reoffend.

Mr. Hardwick will have to forgive me for not sharing his confidence in Worboys, or his confidence in his own competence to make such judgments.


8 years was not the sentence. IIRC it was an indeterminate sentence and he had to convince the parole board he was not a threat to society before they could consider release. If anyone can find it online there was a very good interview with the head of the UK parole organisation on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, which provided more insight including:

  • they are prevented by statute/regulation from revealing ANY details of the reasons/consideration of ANY case - something he has been lobbying for a measured relaxation of in some cases
  • they genuinely believed the victims HAD been told in advance and it appears it was a fuck-up by the sub-contracted organisation (probably another government outsource/privatisation to the likes of Crapita - but I have no idea if it was them specifically in this case) who were supposed to do this but did not, and the guy interviewed is investigating why and how this happened.

If you are interested and can find it (BBC iPlayer no doubt and from what I recall was some time between 8 and 9am so in the last hour of the programme) it is worth seeking out and listening to

(And for avoidance of doubt I do not agree with or defend the decision, I’m simply providing some contextual information)


as one month per sexual assault

Still significantly more than the average time spent, unfortunately.

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Wow. No actually the details you provided just make it more fascinating.

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But @Papasan did.
You may be correct in your assertions but it hardly matters. We have a legally constituted parole system. Cases and offenders are reviewed, and the results can also be reviewed. We don’t have the details in this case.
You are free to criticise their decisions, but your opinion - or mine for that matter - doesn’t matter because you have no legal standing and you don’t know the details of the case or the review. You are asking the Board to make decisions based on generalisations, but in fact it is supposed to make decisions based on individual cases.

@IronEdithKidd, I very frequently find myself in agreement with your posts. As I say, you have a right to your opinions. But on this matter I want the English legal system to work out as intended, and not be subject to the opinions of a general public. We’ve had one referendum of idiots, we don’t want legal decisions made by another such.


Rape IS a serious injury.


I’m really getting tired of this - I’m trying to explain this within the mindset of the English legal system. You don’t need to persuade me. As a matter of fact, in England the definition of violent crime starts at a much lower base than it does in the US federal system, and rape is very definitely classed as a violent crime.
I just happen to have family who are part of the legal system - some of whom don’t like aspects of it by the way - and as a result I have the faintest clue as to how complex these matters are. I simply refuse to get kneejerk indignant at the decision of the board till I see how it plays out.

I guess I should have put that on my original post in simple words for the people who seem not to have understood me.


They’re castrating him before they let him go, right?