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Lord Janner will not face charges, despite evidence of child abuse

26th Apr 2015

The director of public prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, has said that the labour peer Lord Janner of Braunstone will not face charges over alleged historical child sex crimes, despite four police inquiries providing evidence that he had been involved in the abuse of children.

Saunders stated that it was not in the public interest to put Janner on trial, as multiple doctors have said that, due to his Alzheimer’s disease, he is incapable of instructing lawyers or entering a plea.

She continued to say that, had he been fit to stand trial, Janner would have been charged with a string of sex offences against children, including 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.

The decision to refrain from putting Janner on trial was condemned by the Leicestershire police, the force investigating Janner, who claimed that it was letting down the alleged victims who had come forward. The force, in an unexpected move, said it was exploring “possible legal avenues” to challenge the ruling.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reported that more than a dozen people, most of whom were residents in Leicestershire children’s homes in the 1970s and 1980s, came forward claiming they were abused by Janner. It is claimed that the Labour politician used his influence as MP for Leicester West to prey on and abuse boys at local children’s homes.

Janner, 86, denied the allegations against him when they first surfaced in the early 1990s. Three investigations were launched into Janner over the next 20 years after the first accusations.

Saunders’ statement claimed that both the CPS and the Leicestershire police force were to blame for the failure of previous inquiries. The CPS admitted it made mistakes and that Janner should have been prosecuted earlier.

The CPS said it has asked retired high court judge Sir Richard Henriques to conduct an independent review into its decision-making and handling of all past matters relating to the case.