Lord Janner: 203 votes on the law and police PR with dead Jimmy Savile
Lord Greville Janner: a look at reporting on the beleaguered Labour peer.
Daily Mail: “Labour peer Lord Janner attended the House of Lords 634 times and voted 203 times even after his dementia diagnosis”
Alleged paedophile Lord Janner voted 203 times in the House of Lords even after he granted power of attorney to his children because of his dementia….
Unfit to be judged but fit to pass judgement?
The Labour peer also attended Parliament 634 times after his family took control of his financial affairs in April 2009, claiming £104,365 in taxpayer-funded allowances in the process.
Director of Public Prosecutions supremo Alison Saunders says Janner is too unwell to be prosecuted for alleged sex offences.
Lord Janner always denied claims that he was a paedophile and his family say he is innocent of 22 alleged sex attacks.
Innocence must be presumed.
Leicester Mercury: “First Person: Why the DPP decided not to prosecute Greville Janner”
We know why. They told us. They had him tested and found that he’d not understand any trial.
But here’s Dr Tracey Elliott, a Lecturer in Health Care Law, at the School of Law at the University of Leicester.
An accused is not fit to plead if, based on medical evidence, they are unable to plead to the indictment, understand the course of the proceedings, instruct a lawyer, challenge a juror, or understand the evidence in the case.
If an issue in relation to unfitness to plead arises once an accused has been charged, then the procedure to be followed is laid down by the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (as amended).
The Act sets out a two-stage process: first a judge must determine (having considered evidence from at least two medical experts) whether the accused is “under a disability”.
If the judge decides that the accused is unfit to plead, there will be a “trial of the facts”, with a jury merely determining whether they are satisfied that the accused “did the act” with which he is charged.
If the jury decide that the accused did the relevant act, this does not amount to a determination of guilt, and the court’s options are restricted to measures designed to treat, rehabilitate and support the accused and, where necessary, to provide protection for the public.
The DPP says Janner has “no prospect of recovery and no future risk to the public, so that even if the Crown’s case satisfied the jury, the outcome would be the absolute discharge of the accused”.
What nags is the now but what aches is the then. Lord Janner is ill now. But he wasn’t always ill.
The Hinkley Times: “Police watchdog set to investigate officers over Lord Janner abuse allegations”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has said it will be looking into Leicestershire Police’s handling of complaints made against Lord Greville Janner and others in 1991, 2001, and 2006
Police investigate police.
The IPCC said:
“The Independent Police Complaints Commission is independently investigating Leicestershire Police’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse by Lord Janner and other individuals. The allegations were made in 1991, 2001 and 2006. The IPCC investigation is in its early stages and terms of reference will be set in due course.”
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Do the Police dare to find nothing? This is a PR exercise. It’s about burying the past. They need to find wrongdoing, dig it up and beat it with sticks. Which brings us to Sir Jimmy Savile.
BBC: “Jimmy Savile: Sussex Police ‘mishandled’ sex abuse claim”
Sussex Police missed a chance to investigate Jimmy Savile in 2008 because it mishandled a sex abuse claim, the police watchdog has found.
The force did not send a trained female officer to visit a woman who had reported that Savile sexually assaulted her in Worthing in 1970.
What did they do?
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said “not all lines of enquiry were properly followed”.
What do we know?
The woman told officers on 3 March 2008 that Savile sexually assaulted her in a caravan in 1970 following a Chelsea Pensioners’ event at Worthing Town Hall. She did not report the attack to the police at the time but told her then husband, who wrote a letter to the TV presenter challenging him about the incident.
Dear Jim… Will you fix it for me to have you tried in a court of law? No.
The alleged victim was encouraged to contact Sussex Police by a national newspaper journalist who she got in touch with after she watched a programme about Savile in 2008.
Good. The journalist did the right thing.
Sussex Police said the woman did not wish to give evidence in court and in the “absence of other corroborating evidence” supervising detectives decided to take no further action.
So. We have claim with nothing to support it and a reluctant alleged victim. And that’s all we have.
Sarah Green, deputy chair of the IPCC goes on the record:
“Greater efforts should have been made by police to investigate the allegation and to encourage the woman to support an investigation. She showed considerable courage in coming forward to police but regrettably she felt that the two officers who visited her had a negative attitude towards her pursuing her allegation.”
It sounds like her attitude was not entirely positive. She did not want to give evidence in court. How far could any investigation have got?
The report said “while there was no evidence officers deliberately dissuaded the woman from pursuing her allegation, she felt reluctant to do so following contact with police”.
She told a journalist before she told the police. Why?
The police don’t listen. They tell. But tin this instance their actions seem slight.
The two male officers, a detective constable and a detective sergeant, who visited the woman were both experienced detectives but had not been separately trained as full-time sexual offence liaison officers.
Did they invite ther to the station, to meet a better qualified officer?
The BBC’s Danny Shaw, notes:
The failure to investigate properly the Sussex allegation is one of at least five potential opportunities to bring Jimmy Savile to justice before he died. The Metropolitan Police recorded intelligence on Savile in 1964, received an anonymous letter in 1998 and spoke to an alleged victim four years later – but in each case, for different reasons, no action was taken.
Did the police put the three together?
We know that there was no arrest. There was no trial. Savile died a free man. He was mourned publicly. And then he was condemened. The Independent can send him all the way down:
Police missed chance to catch paedophile Jimmy Savile seven years ago
Only the dead get justice.
The Guardian: “Greville Janner affair: Children’s homes inquiry evidence ‘must be released’”
All the evidence given to a 1993 inquiry into sexual abuse at a children’s home to which Greville Janner – now Lord Janner – has been linked should be made public, survivors of child abuse have demanded.
Yes. We agree. Show us the words.
The proceedings of the Kirkwood inquiry, which examined child abuse in children’s homes in Leicestershire in the 1970s and 1980s, were kept secret to avoid the naming of innocent third parties. It followed the trial of Frank Beck, a serial abuser who ran children’s homes in Leicestershire, during which Janner was accused by a witness of abusing him when he was 13 and 14.
Beck was a depraved liar.
A report by Andrew Kirkwood QC, which was made public, did not mention Janner and the evidence has remained inaccessible to the public. Janner was questioned by police after the trial but made no comment and was released without charge.
Peter McKelvie, a former child protection manager whose allegations about historical child sex abuse by a powerful Westminster ring led to the police investigations, said the failure of the Kirkwood inquiry to make evidence public could only have hindered efforts to prosecute Janner….
McKelvie said: “For all the incredibly brave survivors who have come forward with regard to Janner, they deserve at the very least an explanation as to why the Kirkwood inquiry wasn’t made public and they certainly deserve the right to know everything that was heard behind closed doors then. The whole of parliament needs to make a public apology for the standing ovation given to Janner.”
You can read more about that ovation here.