One of John Worboys’ victims today revealed she has been accused of being in Uber’s pocket after praising the decision to keep the black cab rapist behind bars for at least two more years.
Carrie Symonds, now 30, was a 19-year-old student when she was picked up from a Fulham bus stop after a night out and drugged by the black cab rapist.
Last night she spoke of her relief that her attacker will not be freed – but today she revealed her cry for ‘justice’ led to a slew of online abuse.
Miss Symonds, a former Tory aide, was targeted by trolls overnight, including some claiming to be from the black cab trade Worboys so disgraced.
She said: ‘For all those on my timeline telling me that I’m obviously on the payroll of Uber and that’s my only reason for helping keep John Worboys in prison: What planet are you on???’
Carrie Symonds, now 30, (pictured) has praised the decision to keep John Worboys behind bars and that he ‘still poses a real danger to women’
Miss Symonds today she revealed her cry for ‘justice’ led to a slew of online abuse
The Parole Board panel that blocked Worboys’ release yesterday said he is at risk of re-offending because the 61-year-old wants to ‘control women’ and still has ‘a belief that rape is acceptable’.
Yet in December last year another panel horrified Britain by rubber-stamping his release they accepted his own claim that he no longer posed a risk to women.
Miss Symonds said: ‘This is an incredible relief. It was the most horrendous shock to be informed earlier this year that Worboys was to be released much sooner than expected, with absolutely no good reason.
‘Myself and other victims of Worboys were sure then, as we are now, that he still poses a real danger to women.’
Miss Symonds, now 30, added: ‘The Parole Board and the justice system let us down very badly but today us victims who fought to keep him behind bars have been vindicated. This is the right decision.’
She also praised Daily Mail readers who helped raise almost £70,000 via an online campaign to fund the legal challenge.
She added: ‘This victory probably wouldn’t have happened without readers of the Mail.’ Miss Symonds bravely agreed to waive her anonymity to describe the horror of her 2007 ordeal.
Worboys approached her in his cab at a bus stop in Fulham, West London, following a night out with friends. The predator offered to take her home to Surrey even though she had just £5. He claimed it was his final pick-up of the night and that she lived on his way home.
He insisted she drank a glass of champagne with him, telling her he had had a big win at a casino earlier in the evening and wanted someone to celebrate with.
She agreed, but poured the contents of the glass onto the cab floor when he wasn’t looking. Worboys then got out to go to the toilet, and was gone for ten minutes as he waited for the drugs in the champagne to kick in.
When he returned he convinced her to down a shot of vodka. Miss Symonds, who now works in ocean conservation, said: ‘After I drank the vodka, I can hardly remember a thing. I don’t remember if he got back into the front of the cab straightaway or not.
‘When I finally arrived home, my mother remembers I fell through the door, barely able to walk, like a rag doll.
‘Six months later, I opened a newspaper and read that a black taxi driver had been arrested, accused of raping women having pretended to win money at a casino, giving his passengers spiked champagne. I froze. All the blood left my cheeks. I knew it was him.’
Ms Symonds said the Parole Board’s decision not to release black cab rapist John Worboys (pictured right and left being escorted to court left) is ‘an incredible relief’
Miss Symonds went to the police claiming she may have been drugged and assaulted and was one of 14 witnesses whose testimony was presented in court at Worboys’s trial in 2009.
Welcoming the Parole Board’s decision to refuse to release Worboys, she added yesterday: ‘I strongly believe Worboys poses a real danger to us all.
‘It could so easily be your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter, your friend. I feel I would know if Worboys had raped me that night. I’d have flashbacks or there would have been horrendous tell-tale signs when I woke the next day.
‘But I will never truly know for sure what happened after he drugged me.
‘Many girls had similar experiences but many were raped and know they were raped. Their lives have been blighted by it. We can’t let that happen again.’
Black cab rapist to stay behind bars for two more years as CPS consider new sex assault and drugging allegations against him
John Worboys will remain in prison for at least two more years as police revealed he could also be charged with new sexual offences.
Worboys, 61, was convicted in 2009 of attacking 12 women but detectives believe he may have targeted more than 200 others in London and the Bournemouth area.
Yet in January this year a parole board horrified Britain by rubber-stamping his release after it emerged they accepted his own claim that he no longer posed a risk to women.
In March the release direction was quashed by the High Court who found his ‘no risk’ claims had ‘not been probed to any extent, if at all’.
A reassessment of his case was completed and the dangerous sex offender was told ‘he is not suitable for release’, with the report claiming he has ‘a belief that rape is acceptable’.
Worboys used his cab (pictured) to attack a dozen women after offering them free or cheap lifts home – but may have targeted up to 200 more victims, police have said
The sexual predator had a ‘rape kit’ in his cab and would convince victims to share a glass of wine or Champagne with him to celebrate a bogus lottery win.
But he would spike the drink with sleeping pills and abused them while they lay unconscious in the back seat.
Timeline: How rapist John Worboys was caught and almost got released
2002 to 2008: 12 women – many with limited memory of what happened – are drugged and sexually attacked
2007: John Worboys arrested but released because police teams were overstretched and some doubted a black cab driver could be responsible
February 2008: John Worboys is arrested by police.
March 2009: John Worboys convicted of one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges. His sentence is indeterminate but must be at least eight years in jail
2010: Met Police admit they have received 102 new complaints from 100 women since his trial and conviction.
The CPS later defended its decision not to pursue more cases claiming majority ‘did not pass the evidential test’
2015: Worboys loses first parole application.
January 2018: It emerges that a panel of three Parole Board members had directed Worboys’ release.
March 28 2018: High Court overturns the decision and orders case be looked at again
November 19: Worboys’ parole application is rejected for another two years.
Police says CPS has new file related to other alleged sex attacks.
A new 1,200-plus page dossier put together on Woyboys described him as still being a danger to women, according to the BBC.
It listed risk factors as his ‘sexual preoccupation, a sense of sexual entitlement, his attitudes towards women [including a need to have sexual contact with women and to control women] and a belief that rape is acceptable’.
The dossier appears to be so damning that Worboys is not expected to appeal today’s decision and will probably wait until 2020 to try again for release.
It has now also emerged the former porn star may be charged with new offences and the CPS has been passed a file of evidence relating to new crimes allegedly committed between 1997 and 2007, including sexual assault and drugging with intent to commit a sexual offence.
Revealing the outcome today, a Parole Board spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board gave a negative decision in the parole review of John Worboys following an paper hearing in October 2018.
‘Under current legislation Mr Worboys will be eligible for a further review within two years.
‘The date of the next review will be set by the Ministry of Justice.’
A summary of the decision said Worboys ‘submitted that he had worked very hard to accept and understand his offending’, the summary said.
It added: ‘However, the panel considered there to be a need to further understand risk factors and triggers to his offending.’
Witnesses described ‘positive behaviour’ in custody since Worboys’s last parole review, but they did not support release or progression to open conditions within their reports, the summary said.
It concluded: ‘After considering the circumstances of offending, the progress made while in custody, and the evidence presented within the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Worboys was suitable for release or progression to the open estate.’
The Parole Board assesses whether serving prisoners in England and Wales are safe to be released into the community or moved to open conditions, considering around 25,000 cases a year.
Known as the black cab rapist, he had been jailed indefinitely in 2009 with a minimum term of eight years after being convicted of 19 offences, including rape, sexual assault and drugging, committed against 12 victims.
Worboys also paid £241,000 in compensation to 11 victims and he took along serial killer Levi Bellfield to help him negotiate during meetings with lawyers.
Today the Parole Board, which has received more than 1,400 requests for details behind its decisions under a new scheme introduced following the John Worboys case, blocked his release.
The sexual predator had a ‘rape kit’ in his cab (pictured) and would convince women to share a glass of wine or champagne with him, spiking the drink with sleeping pills, before abusing them while they lay unconscious in the back
The Government came under pressure to open up the organisation’s processes after it sparked huge controversy in January by ruling that Worboys was safe to be freed after around a decade behind bars.
In 2010, Worboys first appealed his conviction, but it was thrown out by the Court of Appeal, as Lord Justice Moses labelled his offences as ‘appalling’.
Worboys, a former porn actor and stripper, attacked numerous women during a five-year period between 2002 and 2008.
On several occasions he offered to drive a woman home for a fraction of the normal cost, or even for free, claiming that he lived in their direction.
But once he had them secure in his taxi, the driver – who occasionally used the name Paul or Tony – would put his plan into action.
His constant theme was sex and often asked the women if they would perform sex acts for varying amounts of money, or exposed himself.
How blundering parole board backed ‘open and honest’ Worboys over his victims
In January the Parole Board caused uproar after agreeing to set free John Worboys.
The decision caused even more fury after they refused to make public on what grounds they agreed his release.
It was only three months later that the reasons were revealed during the case that stopped it.
Lawyer for his victims, Phillippa Kaufmann QC, told the High Court the parole board accepted Worboys posed a reduced risk of reoffending because:
- Worboys had taken full responsibility for his offending
- He had undertaken treatment
- Former black cab driver had shown ‘good insight’ into his risk factors and triggers and how to manage them
- Worboys had been open and honest with professionals and was considered likely to remain compliant following his return to the community;
The decision to free him was quashed by judges and his release was delayed by at least two years today.
Today’s panel listed risk factors associated with Worboys, including:
- Sexual preoccupation
- A sense of sexual entitlement
- His attitudes towards women [including a need to have sexual contact with women and to control women]
- A belief that rape is acceptable
- Alcohol misuse and problems with relationships
He took trophies from his victims, including a wristband from one and scribbled the names and addresses of several others in a notebook.
During the seven week trial, victim after victim told how they felt safe with the middle-aged driver because they were stepping into a registered black London taxi.
Most of the women were young professionals – lawyers, insurance brokers, office workers or journalists.
One victim was a new mother out celebrating for the first time with her friends.
He offered the women cheap lifts home after nights out, telling them he had just won thousands on a bet and wanted to celebrate.
To aid his scam, Worboys kept as much as £4,000 in cash stashed in a plastic bag which he showed his victims as evidence of his win.
The rapist would convince the women to share a glass of wine or champagne with them, spiking the drinks with sleeping pills.
The drugs left the women insensible and unable to protect themselves as he pounced on them in the back of the vehicle.
Police also found a ‘rape kit’ in the back of his taxi which including sleeping tablets, condoms, gloves and an ashtray he used to crush the drugs.
Worboys, who called himself Terry the Minder, was jailed indefinitely in April 2009 with a minimum tariff of eight years.
A report published after his conviction found there was a ‘mindset’ among police that the driver of a black cab was unlikely to be responsible for a sex attack.
The paper by the Independent Police Complaints Commission discovered a catalogue of missed opportunities, errors of judgment and failures by Scotland Yard had left Worboys free to prey on women.
Two of Worboys’ victims would go on to win human rights cases in the High Court against the Metropolitan Police in 2014.
The pair – known as DSD and NBV – claimed there had been serious failures in the investigation which led to Worboys to avoid detection and re-offend.
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
Bungling police didn’t believe rapist black cabbie could carry out crimes
A victim of Worboys called for police officers who laughed at her and left her feeling like a criminal to be sacked following his conviction.
The former Greenwich University student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked in the back of Worboys’s black cab in July 2007.
She passed out after drinking spiked champagne and being forced to swallow pills. The woman cannot remember any of her ordeal as she travelled from a Covent Garden party to her New Eltham digs.
She spoke after a damning report found a series of appalling police blunders left Worboys free to attack dozens of women.
The report found there was a ‘mindset’ among police that the driver of a black cab was unlikely to be responsible for a sex attack.
A paper by the Independent Police Complaints Commission also found a catalogue of missed opportunities, errors of judgment and failures by Scotland Yard left Worboys free to prey on women.
The woman said two officers ‘just laughed’ at her when she told them.
She said the uniformed officers were ‘intimidating’ and ‘patronising’ and did not take her seriously as they delayed taking her statement and were late collecting CCTV.
The woman added police could have stopped Worboys ‘a very long time ago’ if officers had ‘done their job better’.
She said she was also poorly treated by a specialist sexual offences investigative techniques officer who gave her false information about the progress of the case.
Two crucial opportunities to stop him sooner were missed – in 2003 when a key witness was not interviewed and in July 2007 when his arrest was bungled, his taxi was not searched and he was allowed to go free.
The IPCC report said seven women were attacked between July 2007 when he was first arrested and February 2008 when he was finally caught.
But police estimate that Worboys, who was known to attack up to three women per night, could have attacked 40 victims in that period.
The watchdog found detectives refused to believe victims and one woman said she was laughed at, intimidated and ‘made to feel like a criminal’ when she reported the attack.
Five officers have now been disciplined, but no one has been sacked over the botched inquiry.
Instead they received written warnings and ‘words of advice’ to the outrage of victims who say scores of lives have been ruined unnecessarily.