Legal action against release of rapist raises 'serious questions', says judge

A High Court judge who ordered a temporary bar on the release of black cab rapist John Worboys has said the case "raises serious questions to be determined".

Mr Justice Supperstone made his decision after considering an urgent application by two of Worboys' victims.

The women, supported by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, applied for a "stay" on his release "pending determination of the claim for judicial review or further order".

The judge, who considered the application on documents lodged by the parties, concluded: "I consider that this claim raises serious questions to be determined and the balance of convenience plainly favours a short stay pending the hearing."

A hearing at the High Court in London is now expected between February 6 and 8, but a date has yet to be confirmed.

Mr Justice Supperstone, who made the order on Friday, said the judicial review claims brought by the two women, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and Mr Khan "shall be linked".

Next week's proceedings, involving both cases, will be "an oral hearing on permission for judicial review and directions", and is expected to last half a day.

In his written order following consideration of the documents, the judge states that the release of Worboys "pursuant to the decision of the Parole Board for England and Wales directing his release shall be stayed pending the hearing on permission for judicial review and directions ... or further order".

Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers.

He became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims in his hackney carriage.