When the Parole Board decided to release ‘black-cab rapist’ John Worboys, the public outrage forced chair Nick Hardwick to resign. Does he have any regrets?
Nick Hardwick says he always knew one controversial case could do for him. Of course he did: you don’t take jobs like chair of the Parole Board with blinkers on. But when the controversy came, it proved more incendiary than even he had imagined.
In January, it was reported that John Worboys would be released from prison after 10 years in custody. Worboys, who was convicted of 19 offences against 12 women, including one count of rape, had in 2009 been given an indeterminate prison sentence with a minimum of eight years. But such open-ended sentences were later outlawed by the then justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, who called them a “stain” on the system.
The justice secretary said my position was untenable. He said, I don’t want to get macho about it. Twice
The justice system has more to fear from a weak justice secretary than from a strong one
Mr Worboys is not the cause I’d have gone to the wall for