More Alleged Victims Come Forward In Janner Scandal

Alison Saunders reuters

More alleged victims of Lord Jenner have come forward since the Director of Public Prosecutions said he would not stand trial, saying they were abused by the Labour peer .

The former MP for Leicester West has been accused by around 30 people who claim to have suffered at his hands when they were residents of a children’s home between the 1960s to 80s, The Times reports.

Leicestershire Police said a number of alleged victims had approached the Operation Enamel investigation team following the publicity of the controversial decision.

Despite detectives being sure that enough evidence is available to ensure a reasonable chance of conviction, Alison Saunders announced last week that the CPS would not be pressing ahead with the 22 serious sex offences against nine people because it would not be in the public interest to do so.

She claimed that because the 86 year old peer had severe dementia he would be unable to understand the legal process.

This controversial decision has led to detectives at Leicester police saying that other victims may now be deterred from coming forward. Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said the decision would “do little to support and encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward.”

In ruling that Lord Jenner would not be charged, Mrs Saunders overruled a leading expert on sex offences law although in a letter to The Times she says she remains “confident it was right” not to take the case to court.

“I am absolutely committed to bringing justice for victims of non-recent sexual abuse and I agree it would have been much better if we had been able to prosecute Lord Janner,” she wrote.

Her termination of the investigation into sex abuse of minors caused cross-party condemnation, including a letter from Labour MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk, Conservative Zac Goldsmith and Green Caroline Lucas. In addition, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson also added his name to the list of those unhappy with Saunders’ decision, saying he would like to see a trial of facts and a second opinion from doctors on Janner’s ability to stand trial.

He told LBC Radio listeners, “I think it’s very important that nobody should be under any impression Greville Janner has had an easy ride from the CPS or has been in some way allowed to escape justice.”

Mr Danczuk said Mrs Saunders’ decision was “chipping away at public confidence and it’s really damaging because people can’t see justice being done, they can only see another cover up.”

Mrs Saunders has refused to release the legal advice given to her by Eleanor Laws, QC, who recommended the prosecution and silk Clare Montgomery QC who was named Criminal Silk of the Year in 2005.  Ms Laws was described in this years’ Chambers UK Bar Guide as “Renowned for her expertise in cases involving serious sexual offences.”

A spokesman, Luz Dux, from Slater & Gordon solicitors said: “We will encourage our clients to exercise their right to review but given the DPP’s stance it sounds as if the outcome is pre-determined,” adding, “People who have had their lives ruined have an interest in seeing the matter aired in a court.”

She said civil claims were a more likely course of action and added her concern at the lack of transparency around the legal advice the DPP received and the process by which the decision was reached.

Ms Saunders concluded if Lord Janner was well, he would be charged with 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 is doubly hard on his alleged victims since it is said evidence existed to charge Lord Janner back in the early 1990s. The CPS admitted it made “mistakes” saying, “Victims of the alleged offences have been denied the opportunity of criminal proceedings in relation to the offences of which they have complained.”

During the police investigation it was revealed Lord Janner signed over the deeds of his £2million home to his children, putting the luxury Hampstead property out of reach for compensation for the alleged victims of child abuse.

UKIP MEP Jane Collins who his fighting for the seat of Rotherham which is itself at the heart of the CSE scandals said it “begs the question how far Janner’s dementia has progressed if he personally made the decision to give his family the deeds to his property recently.”