Carrie Johnson reveals fears over the release of serial rapist John Worboys | Prisons and surveillance

Carrie Johnson has spoken of her fears over the release of serial rapist John Warboys as she made a personal appeal to the Justice Secretary to keep Robert Brown, the killer of Joanna Simpson, behind bars.

Johnson, one of Worboy’s victims, said she understood her loved ones’ feeling of being “like sitting ducks” ahead of Brown’s proposed release in November after serving half of a 24-year sentence.

At an event in London to raise awareness of their campaign to prevent Brown’s release from prison, Johnson was accompanied by Boris Johnson and spoke alongside former justice secretary Robert Buckland, former home secretary Priti Patel and shadow Domestic Violence Minister Jess Phillips. .

Carrie Johnson said she was “horrified” by Simpson’s story when she was approached by friends and family at an event hosted by Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace last year.

“I remember [them] describing themselves as feeling like sitting ducks, unable to do anything. And I knew that feeling from my own experience,” he said. “When I learned that taxi rapist John Warboys was to be released from prison much sooner than we thought, with no explanation as to why, I remember feeling very scared.”

But she added that being part of the successful judicial review that kept Worboy behind bars had taught her “that sometimes, against the odds, you can turn things around. Your voice doesn’t have to go unheard.”

Simpson was murdered with a claw hammer by her estranged husband in October 2010, aged 46. Brown’s killer, a former British Airways pilot, carried out the attack while their two young children were in the playroom next door. He then drove with her body in the boot to a patch of land in Windsor Great Park – dropping off his children at his pregnant girlfriend’s house on the way, before burying her in a pre-dug grave.

Brown was acquitted of the murder by a jury at Reading Crown Court in May 2011, having admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The 59-year-old was sentenced to 24 years for manslaughter and another two years for the offense of obstructing a coroner in the performance of his duties. But after serving half of his sentence, he is due to be automatically released in November this year.

Simpson’s 83-year-old mother, Diana Parkes, said the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, had agreed to meet her on Thursday. He has previously said he will consider appeals to block Brown’s automatic release “very strongly.”

Parkes, who with her husband took on the care of her young grandchildren after their mother was murdered, spoke of how the family had been torn apart by her death.

“There are moments in life that you can always remember, and identifying my daughter with my son after Brown beat her to death is one,” she said. “This was a life-changing tragedy that changed the lives of my entire family forever.”

Simpson’s loved ones handed out 123 yellow roses, her favorite flower, to symbolize the “123 beautiful lives taken at the hands of one man last year.” Her best friend Hetti Barkworth-Nanton gave a chilling account of how Simpson was killed, warning the public that her words could be traumatic.

He said Simpson’s loved ones tried to believe Brown was “completely insignificant”, but added the reality was they were terrified. “We her family and her friends feel like sitting ducks, but the issue is much wider than that. This is a dangerous man.”

Phillips said: “There is no hot-button killing in domestic murder,” and paid tribute to families like Simpson’s who were pushing for change. “The level of work that victims of femicide and their families have to do to bring about change is something that most people don’t realize,” she said.

Buckland called on the government to respond to the manslaughter sentencing review introduced while he was justice minister. “We need an answer. And we need an approach from the government that recognizes that the law is out of step with the reality of coercive control and what leads to a horrific, ultimately horrific event of homicide.”

A Justice Department source said Raab was a campaign supporter and intended to use his powers to prevent Brown’s early release from prison, but action could only be taken within months of his scheduled release date.