John Worboys victory gives daughter hope in legal fight to keep Leeds murderer Christopher Farrow behind bars

The outraged daughter of shoe fetish murder victim Wendy Speakes hopes to mount a legal challenge similar to one which saw victims of 'black cab rapist' John Worboys win victory in keeping him locked up.

By Tony Gardner
Friday, 15th March 2019, 9:28 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 9:33 am
Tracey Millington-Jones, pictured with her mum Wendy Speakes. Tracey is fighting to stop her mum's killer from being released from prison
Tracey Millington-Jones, pictured with her mum Wendy Speakes. Tracey is fighting to stop her mum's killer from being released from prison

Parole Board chiefs took the decision to move sex killer Christopher Farrow to an open prison despite him being in ‘denial’ over the murder of Wendy Speakes.

A summary of Farrow’s Parole Board hearing, seen by the Yorkshire Evening Post, also lists alcohol misuse, a “lack of emotional well-being”, and problems with his thinking and behaviour as potential risk factors.

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Tracey Millington-Jones, pictured with her mum Wendy Speakes. Tracey is fighting to stop her mum's killer from being released from prison

A further review of Farrow's case is to be held on April 4 where he could be granted permission to be allowed "accompanied outings" from jail.

Further reports are likely to be ready in June and another Parole Board hearing is expected later in the year.

Tracey said: "The Parole Board's decision is irrational based on the legal advice I have been given. I feel my only option is to press for a judicial review.

"He has had no interaction with women or had a relationship with a woman for over 18 years and yet the Parole Board deem him safe to the public.

Wendy Speakes was brutally murdered at her home in Wakefield by Christopher Farrow

"Farrow took a pair of my mum’s shoes as a murder trophy – these have never been found and he minimises and continues to minimise the murder, the planning, the stalking of strange women and taking no responsibility for murdering my mum. Yet he thinks he can come back to Leeds and live a quiet life."

Tracey received a letter from Justice Minister Rory Stewart MP this week informing her that the only way to challenge a Parole Board decision is by seeking a judicial review through the courts.

The letter states: "Prisoners who maintain their innocence, or show little or remorse for their offences, are not automatically barred from progressing through their sentence, or from being released.

Shoe fetish killer Christoher Farrow is eligible to be considered for release after serving 18 years of a prison sentence

"The Parole Board assess the overall risk posed by individual prisoners when considering their release, or suitability for open conditions.

"While this may be the case, the Board will consider this aspect as part of the wider assessment process and such prisoners will only be transferred to open conditions, or released, providing the Parole Board is satisfied that it is safe to do so."

The letter continues: "I know it must be very difficult for victims to accept the transfer of prisoners to less stringent conditions; however this process will allow Mr Farrow to be gradually tested and monitored.

"I would also like to reassure you that Mr Farrow can be moved back to closed conditions immediately, if there are any concerns about his behaviour, or if his risks are increasing.

John Worboys was judged not suitable for release after a High Court challenge by his victims

"Further to this, his move does not mean his eventual release is guaranteed."

Worboys case explained

Victims of serial sex attacker Worboys were successful in forcing the Parole Board to reconsider its decision to release him from prison in the face of a public outcry.

Worboys, who is now known as John Radford, was jailed in 2009 for assaults on 12 women in London.

In January 2018 the Parole Board said he would be freed after serving 10 years, but victims challenged the decision.

The High Court overturned the board's original ruling and sided with the legal challenge.

The Parole Board then changed its decision and ordered that Warboys must stay in prison.

Among reasons given for refusing the 61-year-old parole were his "sense of sexual entitlement" and a need to control women.

A summary of the reasons why the Parole Board refused to release Worboys included "risk factors" such as Worboys' "sexual preoccupation, a sense of sexual entitlement and a belief that rape is acceptable".

At his trial at Croydon Crown Court in 2009, jurors were told Worboys picked up his victims in London's West End.

The court heard Worboys claimed he had won the lottery or had won money at casinos and offered his victims a glass of celebratory champagne laced with sedatives.

Worboys was convicted of 19 offences including one count of rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges.

As well as being ordered to serve at least eight years, Worboys was given an indeterminate sentence, meaning he could be kept in prison as for as long as he was deemed to remain a danger to the public.

Police believe Worboys may have carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults on women in London between 2002 and 2008.

Among the documents considered by the panel were a 1,255 page dossier on Worboys and personal statements from seven victims.

It concluded: "The panel was not satisfied that Mr Worboys was suitable for release or progression to the open estate."

The Parole Board said under current legislation Worboys will be eligible for a further review "within two years", but this would be at a date set by the Ministry of Justice.

The High Court judge said, when ruling in favour of two women who brought the challenge, that the Parole Board should have undertaken “further inquiry into the circumstances of his offending”.

Nick Hardwick, the chair of the Parole Board, was forced to resign after Justice Secretary David Gauke told him his position was untenable.

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