Thursday, 29 March 2018
I see that the official Liberal Democrat response to the decision made by the High Court yesterday was a wholehearted welcome. Ed Davey said that: "The evidence heard by the Court begs serious questions about how the Parole Board made the terrible decision to release Worboys. The Parole Board process must now be reviewed, so that the difficult balance between independence and accountability can be improved, without any politicisation." It is worrying that it took an intervention by the High Court and a political decision (not to appeal) to achieve a right outcome. But it is even more worrying that other dangerous criminals must have been released by the current Parole Board set-up. It is only because Worboys' crimes were so gross, and because his victims were so determined, that this particular wrong decision was reversed. What about the dodgy decisions which received no publicity until the parolees committed a further violent crime? The suggestion has been made in some quarters that the Board is staffed by airy-fairy bleeding hearts. But one wonders whether there is pressure by civil servants in the police and prisons department to give the benefit of any doubt to applicants, so as to reduce the unmanageable prison population.