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Lord Janner: getting away with murder

by | 21st, April 2015

Lord Janner

 

Westminster paedos: a look at the reporting on allegations VIPs abused children and got away with it in the 1960s-1980s.  All eyes are on Greville Janner, the Labour peer who denies any wrongdoing.

The Daily Express (page 11) : “‘Doubt’ over the dementia of peer let off child sex charges”

How far gone is Lord Greville Janner? How ill is too ill?

OUTRAGE over the failure to prosecute alleged paedophile peer Greville Janner grew yesterday after it emerged he wrote to the House of Lords a fortnight ago, despite claims he is suffering from dementia.

Those claims of dementia have been substantiated by at least four medical experts. They say the 86-year-old peer is too old to understand any trial of the facts. But this is interesting:

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders also faced accusations of double standards and a “cover up” because several defendants with dementia have been jailed for sex crimes in recent years.

Lord Janner, 86, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009 and took a formal leave of absence last October.

On April 9 this year he replied to a House of Lords query about his retirement with a personally signed letter asking to continue his break.

The fact the Labour peer was able to sign the statement cast doubts on the DPP’s decision not to charge him with 22 child sex offences due to the “severity” of his dementia.

Dealaing with those points in turn: if other dentaia sufferers have been put on the stand for their alleged crimes, then why not the good Lord? And is the ability to sign a letter proof that you could follow complex legal arguments? Surely not. Dementia is often characterised by anosognosia –the lack of awareness of one’s disease.

Accusations that the peer is being protected by the Establishment grew after it emerged at least 19 men with dementia have been convicted of child sex offences since 2010, including 10 in the past year.

We don’t know the details of those cases (we’ll look later). Comparing one patient to another is fraught with difficulty. And we’re not told how many dementia partients were deemed unfit to take the stand. But a quick look reveals a few cases:

In 2013, Hans Lipschis, 94, was not tried for his life as an alleged former SS guard at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

In 2011 a judge said John Hammond who killed his wife was unfit to stand trial.

In 2014, a farmer accused of murder was deemed  to be unfit for trial.

Are sex crimes worse than murder?

The Express hears from Peter Saunders of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood:

“This letter is a clear blow to the lie that this man is suffering. If he understands something as important as taking leave from the British legislature then surely he is fit to stand trial. It stinks of an Establishment cover-up. There is unease that someone as influential and high profile as Lord Janner will not face trial when Joe Bloggs has.”

No. The ability to sign a letter is not proof of sound mental health. But what the officials said is lamentable . Hold you nose:

… the CPS judges that mistakes were made in the decision making at the time by both the Leicestershire police in 2002 and the CPS in 1991 and 2007. Lord Janner should have been prosecuted in relation to those complaints.

It is a matter of deep regret that the decisions in relation to the previous investigations were as they were. Had the previous decisions been to prosecute, as they should have been, Lord Janner would have had the opportunity to challenge the evidence and defend himself through the trial process, with a jury ultimately deciding on his guilt or innocence some years ago. Victims of the alleged offences have been denied the opportunity of criminal proceedings in relation to the offences of which they have complained.

 

It is of obvious and particular concern that such proceedings did not take place as a result of what the CPS now consider to be wrong decisions. In order to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and to seek to learn appropriate lessons, the CPS has asked retired High Court Judge, Sir Richard Henriques, to conduct a thorough and independent review into the CPS decision making and handling of all past matters relating to this case; and to make whatever recommendations he considers appropriate. He has agreed to undertake this task.

As the past gets reviewed, the Express focuses on the now:

Page 12: “Janner case gets murkier”

“If he is too ill to stand trial he should have resigned from the Lords”

That seems a fair point. The Lord’s is no care home. It is a legislative body.

At present we are just taking the DPP’s word that he mentally unfit to stand trial despite evidence to the contrary

Is the Express suggesting some kind of public test, whereby Lord Janner could do a Q & A or undergo a series of cognitive tests, perhaps on Jeremy Kyle’s TV show? A letter is the Express “evidence to the contrary”. But evidence to the fact comes from four medical experts. And what of those who know him? Are they all wrong?

Daily Mirror (Page 6) : “Lord Janner: New child abuse ‘victims’ emerge”

Victims is in inverted commas. Nothing has been proven. The judiciary won’t allow it.

Leicestershire Police had already traced 25 potential victims during a two-year probe codenamed Operation Enamel. A force spokesman said: “A number of alleged victims have come forward to the Operation Enamel team following the announcement last week.”

Tom Pettifor turns to the Janner’s health:

Records show he claimed £2,500 for 15 House of Lords appearances in the month before a search of his home. In total, he attended on 138 days in 2013, but has not returned since December 18, 2013, a day after police completed a two-day search of his home.

And that letter:

It has been reported he wrote to Lords clerks earlier this month indicating he did not wish to step down as a serving peer.

John Mann, the Labour candidate contesting Bassetlaw, Notts said: “I don’t see how you can sign a document relating to membership of the House of Lords if you have dementia.”

The Mirror then adds:

He was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, and his condition is thought to have deteriorated since he became a suspect.

Or to put it a less laoded way: hid dementia has worsened with time. Is the  Mirror  just wafting the stink?

Daily Mail (Page 24): “”Dementia peer who’s too ill for sex abuse trial’ signed letter to Lords 12 days ago”

We hear once more from Pete Saunders:

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Posted: 21st, April 2015 | In: News, Politicians Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink