This is why double jeopardy

Police and prosecutors have indicated they are prepared to bring fresh charges against John Worboys, the ‘black cab rapist’, amid a growing furore over why dozens of crimes were never brought to trial in the first place.

Police issued an appeal for information that could lead to a fresh investigation into Worboys, one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said three rape and sex assault cases dating back to Worboys’ conviction but not presented at trial could now be used against him.

Yes, I know, different crimes are different crimes. But the idea is that the State gets one shot at having a go at you. They prove it, you do the time, they don’t you’re off.

And, notably, they don’t get to come back again and again once one set of time has been done.

Sorry about this, but imagine those stories of 100 rapes are true. He shouldn’t be prosecuted, not now, for any of them. He’s fair game if there’s a murder etc, but not for rape.

I don’t have the law on my side here, nor perhaps even fairness. But that they can’t do serial prosecutions is a protection to us all.

37 comments on “This is why double jeopardy

  1. So if I get done for murdering a prostitute in a Crystal Meth fuelled rage caused by a sex rampage gone wrong (and I am sure we have all been there), I can’t be tried for murdering my wife as she tried to stop me from ordering take out the night before?

    This is an interesting definition of Double Jeopardy. Surely that means you cannot be tried for the same crime twice. Worboys is not being threatened with another trial for the same crime. He is being threatened with a trial for some other crimes he may have done.

    This is what the terrible film (starring the then still hot Ashley Judd) Double Jeopardy. She was convicted of killing her husband, incorrectly as he was still alive, and seems to think that she can kill him a decade later because she has been tried for that already. Except she hasn’t. Two different crimes.

    Still none of this matters because the Stephen Lawrence case has given the British government the power to retry any case where the media kicks up enough fuss as many times as they like until they get quite possibly innocent people put away. Free the Lawrence Three first.

  2. The problem is hundreds of victims will come forward.

    And he cannont possibly mount a defense or have a fair trial.

    Really an arguement for statue of limitations.

  3. Incidentally the paper was also running a story about a man who has just been jailed for killing his third wife since coming to this country from Jamaica in 1980.

    Now he is a lot more Vibrant than Worboys – as were his wives. But the police had him bang to rights. He got into an argument with the First Wife and pushed off the ninth story balcony of their council house. They charged him with manslaughter.

    The British legal system is so f**ked that this case makes no difference. You get life and you get out in less time than it takes your average Open University student to complete their first degree.

  4. Tim, I agree, you don’t have the law or fairness on your side here. Are you actually suggesting that he should not be prosecuted were he to commit another rape after he is released?

    Benaud, the passage of time generally favours the defence more than the prosecution, an argument against the need for a statue of limitations.

    PS: The fundamental problem in this case is the pathetically short minimum sentence given at the original trial.

  5. This story just aint right, he has been convicted and done several years in prison.

    Quite shocking for the media and police to guess he has done 100 more.

  6. Apparently in the US under certain conditions you can be re-tried for the same crime under several jurisdictions, which can lead to people e.g. doing time at State level, getting out, and then the Feds having at you if what you did was both a State and Federal level crime.

    Might be bollocks though, but it seems logical within their strange system.

  7. A reasonable distinction is that possible crimes that were known about at the time of the original trial, but not prosecuted, don’t get revived. New ones, fair game.

    I do think it’s fairly obvious here that there’s a political witch hunt going on. And that just ain’t the way to do justice, not at all.

  8. Never the same crime. What does happen is State prosecution fails, or wins, whichever, then Feds prosecute again for, say, “violating civil rights” rather than rape, murder, assault etc.

    And there’re a number of lawyers uncomfortable with this idea.

  9. Any suggestion in the Guardian that Black cabs should be swept from the roads as Warboys not only raped passengers but also didn’t charge them VAT?

  10. Tim

    The Supreme Courts position is its a different crime against a different sovereign.

    State charges on behalf of the people, the Feds on behalf of the United States.

    Agree its bullshit.

  11. I suspect a new prosecution of either crimes that could’ve been charged at the time of the original trial, or even in respect of new allegations, would run into a substantial abuse of process argument. Levi Bellfield may be a useful measure of that, though …

    Anyway, we’ll see. A decision to prosecute does not necessarily mean the prosecution will be allowed to proceed.

    On the other hand, if a judge halts a further prosecution, expect condemnation of an out-of-touch judiciary and demands for parliament to legislate for, you know, reasons.

  12. That sack of Remainiac shite Bliar disposed of double jeopardy.

    However this knee-jerk nonsense of 100 rapes–or 500 if you read one of the tabloids–is a pure Savile-style bullshit fest.

    71 of the alleged victims only turned up after a police trawl. In which cash compo will have been mentioned–because it always is. And back in 2009 the BluPork were already obviously looking to settle on Warboys any taxi-related crime from London to Dorset still on their books. After all from the Blus POV –he is guilty of doing some nasty stuff so why not help themselves by discharging all the hassle still on their books onto the chump? Everybody hates his rapey arse–what does it matter if he gets rousted for a load of shite he didn’t actually do? And getting their unsolved bungles down is pure profit for the rozzers to boot.

    SMFS is correct that double-j does not apply to separate crimes but when you are supposed to have committed a string of crimes you should be charged with ALL of them at the time. Not some held back so that TPTB can have another go at fucking you up later on. Which is how they tried to stop Rolf appealing by warming up the next seven loads of bullshit that their trawling had exposed to the harsh light of reason. Unluckily for the CPS these new trials were conducted after a little of the Yewtree heat had faded and Rolf was acquitted on each charge or the Jury reached no verdict (which is likely saying they just could not swallow the bullshit served up to them but still had a “no smoke without fire” mindset. It afflicts a lot of people because it is sometimes correct). That is why Rolf is out now–because any appeal going forward would expose Yewtree’s entire femmi-poison sideshow to public gaze.

    So Warboys should not now be charged with stuff they COULD have charged him with at the time. They likely charged him with the best of what they had and not the rest because it was iffy dross. He should still have been charged with it at the time or those cases should have been permanently closed down. To be revived only by new and pertinent evidence. Not by an attempted resurrection in the middle of a public song and dance which all but ensures that no fair trial is possible.

    And why should a BluLabour ReMainiac clown like Rudd be at all interested in saving another ReMainiac turd like ZaNu’s Kier Scummer for a well-deserved public rousting?

  13. And, notably, they don’t get to come back again and again once one set of time has been done.
    Isn’t that why Joe Scrote often asks for 25 other offences to be taken into consideration? Because otherwise the state may well come back for another go. Worboys could have done the same, but didn’t

  14. If there’s enough evidence to say “he did 100 rapes” why TF wasn’t he prosecuted and convicted of 100 rapes, then he’d be in prison for, what, 10,000 years or something?

  15. NDR: Why would you ask to have “offences” you haven’t done to be taken in consideration?

    If you are a serial burglar and are being tried for the one or few most serious it may be wise to have the other 10 or 20 crimes (that you actually have committed) glossed over and have them permanently discharged by a bit extra on the sentence.

    They convicted Warboys of however many (19?) rapes. I doubt the figure of 19 truthfully–but I think it likely that he is guilty of some rapes and one is one too many. He–or his lawyers– would be fools indeed to ask for another 80 offences he didn’t do–and likely never even happened at all–to be put on his case.

  16. Mr Ecks: NDR: Why would you ask to have “offences” you haven’t done to be taken in consideration?
    You wouldn’t. You would only admit the ones where you think there is a possibility of being convicted in the future. Remember, Worboys was in a trial where the state *hadn’t* yet thrown the kitchen sink at him. If he had asked for 5 (specific) other offences to be taken into account back then, he could have cleared his account (maybe) and as an unexpected 10 year bonus would have avoided much of the current media shitstorm.
    Of course, if he had asked for 100 (specific) other offences to be taken into account then they would have thrown away the key.

  17. Those minicab drivers in Rotherham, will they be charged with more offences too? Or do political witch-hunts only apply too persons of pallor who live or work in London (i.e. close to news media and politicians)?

  18. @Andrew M

    This demonstrating how complicated taxi-driver crime can be.

    Is the alleged perpetrator Asian? Islamic? Uber? Black Cab? Eastern European? A child refugee from a war-torn African state?

    No wonder the courts don’t have time to work out if he’s guilty or not.

  19. ‘The Parole Board’s decision made public on Thursday to sanction Worboy’s release by the end of the month has devastated his victims, who have complained they were not informed of the decision.’

    Parole boards get no respect. It doesn’t occur to the shrill that the Parole Board has made the correct decision. Absent any evidence to the contrary*, I presume they did.

    ‘One victim said: “Regardless of his parole conditions I don’t think I would feel safe. It’s a really sickening thought that he will be roaming the streets once again.”’

    Until serial rape becomes a capital crime, ALL serial rapists will eventually be released.

    *”Whah, whah, whah” is not evidence.

  20. Rudd be at all interested in saving another ReMainiac turd like ZaNu’s Kier Scummer for a well-deserved public rousting?

    I’d be interested in Starmer having a public roasting (in the bonfire sense). 5th Nov 2018, Parliament Square?

    why TF wasn’t he prosecuted and convicted of 100 rapes, then he’d be in prison for, what, 10,000 years or something?

    Because that’s the way that some US sentencing works, not the way UK sentencing normally works. Even if you are convicted for different offence types, you’ll normally serve your sentences concurrently rather than consecutively.

  21. If you are a serial burglar and are being tried for the one or few most serious it may be wise to have the other 10 or 20 crimes (that you actually have committed) glossed over and have them permanently discharged by a bit extra on the sentence.

    Yes, one form of corruption in the system. Criminal gets these additional crimes discharged at little extra cost to them, police+CPS statistics look better, but victims of the crimes are denied the justice that would come from the convicted perpetrator of their crime being properly punished for that crime, and the prolific criminal is soon back on the streets to prey on the rest of us.

  22. Oh, and I’d note that the “statutory maximum sentence” for rape under s1 Sexual Offences Act 2003, is life imprisonment. Warboys, on the other hand, got one of the thankfully now no longer available “indefinite imprisonment” sentences.

    How he, rather than any more deserving of the hundreds of people still in jail on “indefinite” got access to the courses and facilities to demonstrate that they had met their release criteria, I have no idea. And I would probably be rather upset if I found out.

  23. Defendant is guilty of interpreting the memes used in porno movies as a guide to satisfying sex.

    On double jeopardy: Surely the UN’s attempt to define new Crimes Against Humanity, Against All Womyn, Against the Planet, and Against Our Shared Cultural Patrimony – apart from often being unable to define actual victims – set us up for a global system in which a new, corrupt level will second-guess the decisions of real criminal justice systems and juries.

  24. A reasonable distinction is that possible crimes that were known about at the time of the original trial, but not prosecuted, don’t get revived. New ones, fair game.

    Tim, the investigation leading up to a trial could have taken months, even years. Do you distinguish between possible crimes known about since the start of the investigation and those first reported to police e.g. two days before trial starts? Where to draw the line? What should we do if crime B, suspected of being carried out by the accused in another crime A, is reported just before or even during the trial for A?
    1. Delay trial for A and leave a potentially innocent person in prison on remand for months or years while B is investigated?
    2. Delay trial for A and leave a potentially very dangerous serial offender at large to commit more crimes while B is investigated?
    3. Tell the victim of B, sorry, we can’t bring a case because of the trial for A?
    4. Proceed with trial for A and investigate B, bringing it to trial at a later date if the evidence warrants it.

    Which of those options would best lead to just outcomes for all concerned? Which is the least open to abuse, to allowing any party to game the system?

  25. Criminal should have done more time for the offences he was convicted of.

    Maybe we should have just killed him

  26. @Gamecock

    The victims’ complaint is that they weren’t told about the decision of the parole board before it was publicly announced.

    Some of them claim that its mainly the shock of finding out unexpectedly that hurts.

    Even the board themselves acknowledge that this should have been done, and have publicly apologised (to the victims). It was a bit of a half-hearted, PR driven effort though.

    You’re correct that the victims are always going to say ‘whah’ and demand eternal torment for Worboys.

  27. When you’re found guilty of a crime, there is an incentive to ‘fess up to all your other crimes to be taken into consideration for the sentencing, in order to avoid the prosecution dragging them up later.

  28. Isn’t the complaint that the CPS said there was no point trying to convict him of any other crimes seeing as he wouldn’t be getting out of jail for the ones he was being tried for for a very long time? That was obviously a lie.

  29. Isn’t the complaint that the CPS said there was no point trying to convict him of any other crimes seeing as he wouldn’t be getting out of jail for the ones he was being tried for for a very long time?

    No! Because they wouldn’t have known the jury’s verdict (on the existing charges) at that stage? Innocent until proven… and all that.

  30. Ah, I misunderstood – sure, I get your time line. This was the outcome of some subsequent (to the trial / conviction) police trawl for “more witnesses / victims” (for whatever reason)?

    “How many of the 75 were BS” – indeed.

  31. Some commenters have asked about the “75”. For the sake of brevity I will call them deferred plaintifs. Surely their position is now a bit perilous? A freed Warboys has a clear vested interest in tracking them down and shutting them up, let they testify in a future prosecution.
    In fact, all Warboys has to do is go missing. That will leave the police chasing their tails in case :
    a) he has been murdered by a vigilante
    b) he has gone to earth to stalk, intimidate, silence one or more of his previous deferred plaintifs.
    An exquisite mess.

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