Lord Janner: DPP, FGM and shuffling across the carpet to genital abuse
Lord Janner: a look at reporting on the Labout peer in the news.
The Sun: “CRONY PROSECUTOR”
DPP worked at same firm as peado rap Lord she let off
It’s about Ms Alison Saunders, the head of the Crown Prosection service. The Sun says she “started her career” at 1 Garden Court Chamebers – where Janner…was a top QC.”
Thsi is an “exclusive”. Well, it is to anyone who has never read the Saunders CV or other news sources days ago.
The upper echelons of the judiciary are incestuous places.
Daily Telegraph: “CPS chief’s husbands is member of ‘tax loophole’ film investment scheme”
The knives are out for Director of Public Prosecutions boss Saunders.
Neil Saunders, whose wife is the Director of Public Prosecutions, is a member of a controversial scheme being investigated by the taxman, The Telegraph can disclose.
A lecture from the Daily Telegraph on the wrongs of legally exploiting tax loopholes might make you roll your eyes, but is it valid?
Neil Saunders, a defence barrister, is listed by Companies House as a member of a film industry investment scheme which is being pursued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
How are the husband’s tax affairs relevant to Sauncders’ decicion not to send Janner to court? We’re not told. It’s just out there. As are these facts:
• DPP Alison Saunders took legal advice on Greville Janner from former colleague of his son
• DPP Alison Saunders spent £7,000 on business class flights while CPS headed towards crisis
The Press Gazette: “‘Eight officers stormed into my bedroom shouting Met Police’: Reporter’s three-year ordeal ‘for writing story about a fox'”
As well as looking at what cases Saunders did not think fit for court, it’s worth looking what what cases she has approved.
The Sun’s online news editor Vince Soodin has has condemned the Met Police for turning Operation Elveden into “a probe into unauthorised leaks to journalists – whether they were paid for or not”.
Soodin, along with former News of the World reporter Lucy Panton, was officially cleared at the Old Bailey yesterday – nearly three years after his initial arrest.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Soodin, 40, said Operation Elveden has been “pursued without any sense of proportion” by the Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders – who he said “must resign”.
On his 7 August 2012 arrest, Soodin wrote: “I was set to go the London Olympics; instead I was woken – at 6.06am – by my doorbell. I was confronted by eight police officers; detectives stormed past me into my bedroom, waking my girlfriend, who was unaware I had gone to the front door, shouting ‘Met Police’ before I was allowed to explain to her what was happening. We were in shock.
“Officers bagged up our computers. Seized our belongings. They went through our clothes and underwear, personal diaries, everything. Almost anything connected to my job was tagged and taken. They still have my Sun contract of employment – as though this is damning evidence that I am a criminal.
“Detectives stood over us as we dressed. Then I was taken away from my girlfriend and thrown into a cell at a north London police station before being questioned by two detectives.”
Snodin then nails Saunders.
“Set alongside the Lord Janner scandal and February’s ludicrous prosecution of a doctor – on charges of female genital mutilation – who had stitched up a woman bleeding after childbirth, Operation Elveden has destroyed confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service under Alison Saunders. There is only one proper course of action now. She must resign.”
The FGM show trial was a disaster for the CPS. It was a victory for the jury which found Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena not guilty of carrying out female genital mutilation on a newly delivered young mother. Another man was cleared of abetting Dr Dharmasena. Both men was used to showcase the authorities’ commitment to combatting FGM.
But what of calling for someone to lose their job? Is that fair?
The Indepedent: “Lord Janner: How the Director of Public Prosecutions should have handled the Labour peer”
What most angers her critics is that after taking the trouble to consult widely on the decision, Saunders has chosen to deny Janner’s alleged victims any chance of having their day in court.
What angers her critics is that Saunders came to the conclusion they didn’t want.
Lord Janner’s mental capacity – he is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s – is not in question.
It is the question. It is very much the question. And many have sought to answer it. 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.
…she seemed to perfectly understand what is at stake by deciding not to prosecute. Saunders explained: “There has been considerable public interest, and media coverage, of the fact of the investigations including identifying Lord Janner as the subject of them. Indeed, concern has been expressed publicly of a cover-up.”
And she went on: “The allegations that have been made against Lord Janner are extremely serious. Those who have made them are, entirely understandably, vociferous in urging the taking of action against Lord Janner.”
But what Saunders woefully failed to address was the possibility of a trial on the facts alone, so that the victims would at least have their allegations tested in a court of law. It would have required Lord Janner to be charged and then for the judge to officially rule that, although he was unfit to plead, a jury could still hear the issues.
The critics have also referred to cases under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 where a criminal court does decide the truth of allegations against a person suffering from a mental incapacity. But, as confirmed by the Court of Appeal in a judgment, R v Wells, in January, such cases are heard, despite the mental incapacity, because consideration is being given to imposing a hospital order or a supervision order on the defendant for reasons of public protection, or because treatment is required, and it is in the defendant’s interest that the facts are found before such an intrusive order is made. In the present case, and as the DPP has explained, the medical evidence is again unequivocal that Lord Janner poses no current threat to anyone.
Of course the decision is disappointing to the complainants. But the criminal process does not exist to give a platform for the making of allegations against a defendant who is incapable of defending himself. The gravity of the allegations makes it especially appropriate to protect such a defendant from unfairness, particularly when he denied the allegations in the past while able to do so.
The Indy goes on:
This would have been highly unusual, and may have broken new legal ground, but this is a highly unusual case in which the police and CPS have failed three times to do their job.
Saunders’ inability to anticipate the political backlash left her badly exposed.
So. Justice should be dictated by fear of the public mood?
Sir Clive Loader, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, described the decision as ‘not just wrong’ but ‘wholly perverse’ and ‘contrary to any notion of natural justice’.
The police are now on the side of the angels.
Daily Mail: “The rape of justice: Damning new evidence of Labour peer Lord Janner’s child sex abuse covered up by police and social workers for over 20 years”
Police and social workers were told more than 20 years ago that the peer took a vulnerable boy to Labour Party offices and Parliament before molesting him in his marital bed.
What did the caring. child-friendly police do back then?
A ten-page witness statement details the alleged victim’s harrowing ordeal at the hands of Janner. But all references to the politician were removed from the child’s social services file, according to legal papers obtained by the Mail.
A children’s home manager told bosses she feared he was having sex with the child but her concerns were ‘swept under the carpet’. The scale of the cover-up helps explains how the former Labour MP repeatedly escaped justice.
Over to Guy Adams, who dramatises the story:
The middle of the night at a large family home in one of North London’s most genteel residential neighbourhoods. In one of the upstairs bedrooms, a teenage boy lies awake. It’s eerily quiet, and he’s a long, long way from the children’s institution that has in recent years been home. The house is dark and shadowy. Scary, even. He feels frightened, confused and very much alone.
But this boy is not alone. In the gloom, he picks out an unmistakable figure shuffling across the carpet. It’s the middle-aged father-of-three who owns this house where he is staying…
With sickening inevitability, this vulnerable and frightened child, who only recently reached his 14th birthday, is then subjected to a sexual assault. ‘He touched my penis and asked me to touch his. He then simulated sex with me as I could feel his penis rubbing against my body, but after a while he got up from the bed and went out of the room. I must have fallen asleep, because when I awoke it was morning.’
This attack, carried out in December 1974, is one of several described in chilling detail in a ten-page witness statement prepared several years later by a firm of Leicester solicitors called Greene D’Sa. According to the document, which was passed to me this week, it marked the start of an abusive ‘full sexual relationship’ that endured almost two years.
The attack was also the culination of a lengthy grooming process which had begun when the boy’s abuser, a high-profile MP, visited a secondary school in his Leicester constituency. That MP was Greville Janner, then 46, a Labour backbencher…
Titilated? The story then alleges who knew of Janner and the boy:
It tells how his relationship with Janner was known to everyone, from his friends, to his social worker, children’s home manager and the then-director of Leicester’s social services. Yet nothing was done to stop it….
In a second, 1993 witness statement, again passed to me this week, the same boy recalls in 1989 and 1991 meeting detectives investigating a historic paedophile ring said to have included Janner. The relatively junior police investigators were apparently convinced that this man had, indeed, been ‘buggered by Greville Janner’ during childhood. ‘They needed me to include that information in my statement before they could arrest Janner,’ it notes.
But, soon afterwards, the two junior detectives were forced to drop their investigation into the MP, apparently at the behest of senior figures within the Leicestershire constabulary.
The boy isn’t the only person to make this claim. Indeed, his 1993 statement appears to confirm a similar version of events made public last year by one of those two officers, Mick Creedon.
Should you wonder about the veracity of Mr Creedon’s recollection, it is illuminating to learn that he is now Chief Constable of Derbyshire.
Mr Creedon deneis any wrong doing. Lord Grevillw Jannwr and his family deny any wrongdoing.
Right now all we have are stories.
Leicester Mercury: “Alleged child sexual abuse victim will seek review of decision not to prosecute Greville Janner”
A man who alleges he was sexually abused by former Leicester MP Greville Janner says he will seek a review of the decision not to put the politician on trial. Paul Miller claims 86-year-old Lord Janner abused him when he was nine years old during a school trip to the House of Commons.
Mr Miller, 52, from Aylestone, said he had not yet received her letter, but would both seek a review and take up the offer to meet Ms Saunders…
He said: “I will meet her, but she had better pin her ears back because I am an angry man. I will tell her face to face she has got this wrong, and I will be asking for the review. I don’t think I will be the only one.”
Ms Saunders has stood by her decision not to try Lord Janner, despite saying there was enough evidence to bring charges against him in relation to 22 alleged offences between 1969 and 1998.
She said there was evidence that could have seen him charged in 1991, 2002 and 2007, but now he was suffering from dementia so severe he was unfit to stand trial.
Such are the facts…