The justice secretary is considering a judicial review of the decision to free sex attacker John Worboys on parole.
The Sunday Times reports David Gauke has sought advice on whether a judicial review could succeed. It is understood he will only move forward if there is a reasonable prospect of success.
The Parole Board said it was “confident correct procedures were followed”.
Taxi driver Worboys was jailed in 2009 and is thought to have carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults.
He had been convicted at Croydon Crown Court of 19 offences and ordered to serve at least eight years in jail. The court heard he gave his victims drug-laced champagne before attacking them in his taxi.
The Parole Board announced on 4 January that he would be released from prison, sparking criticism from victims’ groups and representatives over the decision and the fact many of his victims were not informed in advance of it being made public.
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The way in which Worboys’s release was handled has already triggered a government review of the way the Parole Board reaches its decisions.
The Sunday Times article says Mr Gauke’s possible intervention comes after four cabinet ministers warned that Worboys’s release might be unlawful because victims were not consulted.
The Ministry of Justice told the Sunday Times: “The secretary of state commissioned advice last week about the plausibility and potential success of a judicial review; he is minded to move forward if there is a reasonable prospect of success.”
It comes after the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not review the 93 cases that Worboys was not prosecuted over.
Parole Board chairman Nick Hardwick has said hearing the decision must have been “horrible” for the women, but the board was “confident” 60-year-old Worboys would not reoffend.
He said the fact some victims were not informed was a fault with the parole system, but the decision itself would have been carefully considered.
Source: BCCI – Politics