Police and prosecutors failed children who reported being sexually abused by Labour grandee Lord Janner by covering up key evidence, report finds
- Lord Janner was charged with 22 counts of child sexual abuse offences in 2015
- He died with dementia that year while awaiting trial; he denied all the allegations
- Now a damning inquiry has concluded that children who reported sexual abuse by the late Labour grandee were ‘let down by institutional failings’
Lord Janner was charged with 22 counts of child sexual abuse offences, relating to nine different boys, in 2015. He died with dementia later that year
Police and prosecutors failed children who reported being sexually abused by Labour grandee Lord Janner by covering up key evidence, an official report has found.
The former MP, who died in 2015, was accused of serious sexual abuse over three decades by 34 alleged victims.
Offences were said to have taken place in the Houses of Parliament, Lord Janner’s car, children’s homes and a hotel.
The report by the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse found Leicestershire Police deliberately withheld key witness statements from the Crown Prosecution Service.
It said Detective Superintendent Christopher Thomas and CPS lawyer Roger Rock appeared ‘reluctant to progress the investigation’.
Lord Janner, a Leicester MP from 1970 until 1997 when he was made a peer, was charged with 22 child sexual abuse offences, relating to nine boys, in 2015.
He was suffering dementia and died later that year aged 87 while awaiting trial. He always denied the offences.
Allegations first emerged three decades ago. A report by retired judge Sir Richard Henriques found in 2016 that police and prosecutors missed three chances to charge Lord Janner in the 1990s.
Professor Alexis Jay, who is leading the abuse inquiry, said: ‘Despite numerous serious allegations against the late Lord Janner, police and prosecutors appeared reluctant to fully investigate the claims against him.
Professor Alexis Jay, chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
‘On multiple occasions police put too little emphasis on looking for supporting evidence and shut down investigations without pursuing all outstanding inquiries.’
The report, which did not examine whether allegations against Lord Janner were true, described the decision-making of Detective Superintendent Thomas and Mr Rock as ‘unsound and strategically flawed’.
Current Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole said: ‘It is fair and correct to say that the allegations could and should have been investigated more thoroughly.
‘And Lord Janner could and should have faced prosecution earlier than 2015.’
A CPS spokesman said: ‘We have co-operated fully with the inquiry and will carefully consider its conclusions.’
Lord Janner’s family have maintained that he is innocent and criticised the inquiry hearings as ‘a one-sided trial against a dead man’.
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