The sex abuse proceedings against Lord Janner has been dropped, it has been reported. Victims of the late Labour Peer have condemned the decision to stop the investigations into the case.
The Labour MP was charged with 22 offences against nine boys and men dating back to the 1960s while he was alive. However, he never actually stood trial for it because he was deemed ‘medically unfit’ due to his dementia.
It has been reported however that despite his diagnosis, he had continued to attend to his duties in the House of Lords, which brought an income of £300 a week. After his death last month, prosecutors suggested the trial could go ahead posthumously. However, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told the trial judge, Mr Justice Openshaw that there will be no more investigation into the claims after all. Victims said that it amounts to a ‘cover up by the establishment’.
Although Janner was formerly charged with 22 offences, a BBC investigation has interviewed dozens more social workers and former residents of children’s homes across the UK, who claim that they too were abused by the peer but were afraid to speak out publicly.
One man, who goes by the name of Mark, told the BBC that Lord Janner, a member of the Magic Circle, would undress him, wash him and touch him intimately, during visits to the Moel Llys children’s home, when he was 11 years old.
He said: “It’s mentally scarred me for life. I can never get rid of it. You feel ashamed and you feel dirty. Useless and worthless.”
The BBC has since learned that lawyers are now representing at least 20 men and one woman, including 12 residents of children’s homes, who have reported abuse committed by the late peer.
Victims report being raped, fondled, undressed and threatened.
A former police detective, Graeme Peene has come forward to state that he personally saw Lord Janner present when abuse was being carried out against young people in care.
The BBC reported that Mr Peene, said that he reported liberal democrat councillor Frank Beck, who ran lots of children’s homes in the 1970s, after seeing him rubbing a boy’s groin at The Beeches children’s home.
In one instance, Lord Janner was also present in the room.
Mr Peene stated that he was even ordered to return another boy who had run away because of the abuse.
Mr Peene explained: “I’d got my suspicions about Frank Beck, but [there is] also the fact that an MP is there and he is being too tactile with a young boy who is obviously in the care of the local authority.”
Senior figures at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are now understood to regard the case against Lord Janner as “overwhelming” – and the level of abuse alleged as “horrific”.
Janner was subject to three police investigations between 1991 and 2007
However, the CPS decided at the time that there was not enough evidence to charge Mr Janner due to police failures to submit the necessary evidence during some of their investigations.
The director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said that although the ‘evidential test’ was passed, but that ‘mistakes in the decision-making’ were made by Leicestershire police in 2002 and the CPS in 1991 and 2007.
Commenting on the decision to drop the case against Janner, Liz Dux, of Slater and Gordon, which represents a number of Janner’s alleged victims, said: “My clients are absolutely devastated that they won’t give their evidence in a criminal court.
“They totally understand the reasons why, but that doesn’t make up for the real travesty – that many gave their statements decades ago and have been denied justice through a failure to prosecute earlier when Janner was alive and well, and that’s something they can’t get over.
“The next stage is the only opportunity for them to have their evidence heard, by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse led by Judge Goddard. We’re hoping there will be an announcement by the Goddard inquiry shortly. I hope they prioritise the Lord Janner case and that they will hear my client in person and make findings of facts so there are judicial findings made and then made public.
“What is very disappointing is there was a painstaking inquiry by Leicestershire police since 2013 with a lot of other witnesses’ evidence, who weren’t victims but who were there to corroborate what victims were alleging. That evidence won’t be heard either.”
Last month, the prosecution had an application pending to introduce a second tranche of charges, which covered additional victims.
Speaking about the decision to drop the case against Janner, one of the alleged victims (now 54) said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper: “I am really disappointed. He was already deemed unfit to stand trial and wasn’t going to be in court anyway, so his death shouldn’t have made a difference.
“The fact that he kicked the bucket should not have mattered. For once, they should have thought about the victims and let us go to court and let the court decide if we were telling the truth.”
An official review into the way the case was handled by police and other authorities is due to be published shortly.
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