Can they do this?

Yes, I know he wasn’t tried on these offences before:

The black cab rapist John Worboys faces spending the rest of his life behind bars after pleading guilty to a further string of assaults on women.

The 62-year-old, who was jailed in 2009 for 19 sex attacks on 12 women, admitted on Thursday drugging another four women he had picked up in his cab.

Worboys appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Wakefield prison, to plead guilty to two counts of administering a stupefying or overpowering drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault.

It’s not double jeopardy, because he wasn’t tried for these offences. But still, can they do that? Or, when first tried, are you supposed to say “there was some other stuff Guv'”?

Because the thing, at the very least, seems to make a mockery of serving sentences concurrently, doesn’t it? And if they can do this in such a hard case, then don’t we end up with bad law? We’re charging you with fiddling your recycling, Then after conviction they come back and try you again for doing it the previous week?

18 comments on “Can they do this?

  1. In the states they do something like this. In the case of Darlie Routier, the mother who was accused, and subsequently convicted of killing her two sons (stabbing them to death one evening then staging a breakin -some ppl claim she is innocent but that is a whole other thing). Techinally, she only went on trial for one of the boys, even though both occured at the same time. The prosecution only charged her re the death of the eldest one as they wanted to hold the second death in ‘reserve’ in case she was not successfully convicted. It seems that if they are specific offences they can be tried separately? Though I’m not sure why that would not be done more often – e.g. why not charge OJ for the murders of Nicole and Ron separately? Maybe it varies between states..?
    No idea what the laws are here in Aus. But having worked in the correctional system, the notion of concurrent sentences really irks me. You would end up with prs with a long rap sheet of crimes in a short period of time who end up spending a piffling amount of time in jail due to concurrent sentences. They are then released to continue as before (whch they usually do when you look at their forensic history).

  2. Don’t repeat criminals usually “ask for other offences to be taken into consideration” in between conviction and sentencing? So you only confess to the ones they don’t know about once you’ve been found guilty, you’re punished for the extra ones but in practice you hope not much because the effective extra prison time is usually low, and then you’re safe from other charges. And Plod likes it because it increases their conviction rate.

    In this case it looks like he didn’t confess to the others until after he was sentenced (indeed some way into his sentence), so he’s not been punished for them so I suppose the prosecution can have another go.

    Vague memory of a motorist being caught by a whole succession of speed cameras down a road, and argued that it wasn’t multiple offences but one continuing one so he shouldn’t have multiple fines. Think he lost.

  3. Not much different from Judges ruling UK can not sell weapons to Saudi Arabia as they might be used to kill enemies, terrorists civilians whose guns vanish as in NI.

    Worboys: there’s another one going too, bloke who admitted murder and has served 45 years should not be released say tolerant no-jail lefties.

  4. Probably depends whether the rozzers knew of the latest matters when he was charged with the original batch.

  5. From what I heard on the radio in his parole board interviews he explicitly said that “These are all the crimes I commited, between dates X and Y, triggered by a bad breakup.”

    These new convictions are for crimes that happened before date X which he should have admitted to but didn’t.

    So I think it is a case that if you ask for other crimes to be taken into account during sentencing then you won’t get tried again for them. But if only after being released you get charged with them, and it turns out the justification of your release was perjury then seems fair that you can be convicted for them again.

    Also his original sentence was indeterminate (released after 8 years when the parole board thinks he is safe to the public). So part of this is recalling him to prison so that he can continue to serve the previous and current convictions concurrently. Now he’s going to have a hard time of convincing the parole board of anything as he lied so convincingly before.

  6. You used to hear about other offences being taken into consideration a lot but I don’t remember having heard that said about a modern case for years. I don’t know if it’s because it now doesn’t happen, is called something else, or what.

    (It happens a lot that medical complaints seem to have disappeared, such as that old sitcom favourite lumbago, but they’ve just been renamed something dull and unmemorable.)

  7. JS said:
    “medical complaints seem to have disappeared, such as that old sitcom favourite lumbago”

    Happens the other way too. Meerkats; did you ever hear of them until they were on the telly in the late ’80s? Didn’t exist. Now they’re everywhere (little blighters are even running insurance brokers).

  8. Hey, RichardT, I’m old enough to remember when QUICKSAND was the most dangerous thing out there. It was almost a deus ex machina savior of a plot.

    Followed by aborigines terrified of an eclipse.

    I guess aborigines are more sophisticated now.

  9. @Gamecock

    Quicksand in TV/Movies from 40s-80s, I remember that – rofl. Encountered real quicksand in Tunisia ~1969 – nothing like movies, luckily I had very large feet for my height/weight (thankfully feet stopped growing when I was 13, height didn’t)

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