Today's Daily Mail features an article by Daniel Janner, son of the late Greville Janner, the former barrister and MP for Leicester West. Greville Janner died in December 2015, shortly before a trial of the facts was due to take place, to establish whether there was any merit to allegations that he had been abusing children since the 1950's. Alison Saunders was the Director of Public Prosecutions who made the decision to pursue a case against Janner. She opted for a "trial of the facts" after he had been diagnosed as suffering with dementia and therefore unfit to plead in a criminal trial. She's just announced that she is to step down from her role. Daniel Janner is delighted. This from his column in today's Mail:
Amid the public furore over child abuse earlier this decade, he was the target of a string of allegations from people who claimed to be his victims. These accusations, which turned out to be utterly baseless, were distressing enough for myself and the rest of my family. The approach of the Crown Prosecution Service under Saunders, who managed to mix callousness with ineptitude, compounded our misery. First of all, in April 2015, she announced that, though the CPS believed it had enough evidence to prosecute my father, it would not proceed with the case because of his poor health, since he was suffering from dementia. Yet soon afterwards, following an outcry orchestrated by the supposed victims and their supporters, this decision was reversed. It was a craven display of pusillanimity in the face of emotional blackmail. So in August 2015 my frail, bewildered, doubly-incontinent father was dragged into court for the preliminary hearing at the start of criminal proceedings against him. For the family, it was a heart-breaking experience, especially because we knew the case against him was so hopelessly flawed. That is exactly what Saunders should have also recognised. There was never any hard evidence against him. The entire proceedings were built on an edifice of lies.
Strong stuff but farcical in the face of the facts. The proceedings were not built on lies at all, far from it. Janner's predilection for young boys was an open secret at Westminster for decades. Dozens of men and women have come forward to make claims against him over the years. He was a regular visitor to children's homes in Leicester for decades. Some of these boys would be taken out by Janner who would then spend the night with them in local hotels. Was he reckless? I don't believe that he was, rather it looks like he was very well protected. I'll give you an example. Back in 1991 after an allegation had been made against Janner, Leicestershire police couldn't be bothered to check with the hotels that one victim claimed he'd been taken to. Detectives never consulted the boys care home either. Incompetence or cover-up? Put it this way, on three occasions over the years, Janner avoided prosecution for serious sexual abuse of boys because of so called failings by prosecutors and police. One one such occasion a highly credibly claim was made against Janner, but the police did nothing.
The details of the assault claim were not forwarded up the chain of command. So in 2014, The Crown Prosecution Service, having weighed up all the historical evidence against Janner, decided to charge him with 22 counts of child abuse, but then he was diagnosed with dementia. They opted, as I said, for a "trial of the facts" and then he died. Handy that eh? Don't forget too that three weeks after Janner died, former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques published a report that stated that on three occasions (1991, 2002, 2007) there was sufficient evidence not just to prosecute Janner, but to secure a conviction against him. So his death was timely.
I highlighted above, Daniel Janner's claim that his frail, bewildered and incontinent father was being dragged around by the court in August 2015. Hmmm. Funny that. We know that in July 2014, MONTHS after Janner had been declared unfit to be questioned by detectives, he was making secret visits to Westminster. Wait for it now.....he drove himself! Yes, several months after doctors said that he could not be questioned by officers, the paedophile was visiting Westminster alone and in his own car. That throws serious doubt on the family's claims that he had developed late stage dementia right? It's also interesting to note that he died (December 2015) only two weeks after the DPP said there would be a "trial of the facts". I'm not saying he aint' dead, not at all, but the circumstances surrounding his death are interesting and unusual to say the least. What did Janner know about the conduct of other MP's and peers? Was he part of a paedophile ring or a network of abusers? Did he act alone? These are important questions. It has been alleged that Janner was protected by the UK's powerful Jewish lobby. Janner, himself Jewish, was a one time chairman of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and was a campaigner for Holocaust education. I don't know about that but I wouldn't rule it out. Who's to say that pressure wasn't brought to bear on the Leicestershire police to leave Janner alone? Maybe they were warned about Antisemitism? Don't rule that out. Remember, we know that police were reluctant to investigate Muslim grooming gangs lest they be accused of Islamophobia right?
There is no doubt that Janner was a filthy child abuser and we haven't heard the last of him. Professor Alexis Jay, who is heading up the public enquiry into institutionalised child abuse will be taking evidence from Janner's victims, something his family is vehemently opposed to. Jay's final report (whenever that will be!) will probably conclude that Janner was guilty of heinous crimes against children. Whether or not the full scale of the cover-up will emerge is another matter entirely. As for Janner's family? My heart isn't made of stone, it can't be easy for them knowing what a monster their father was but I can't forgive their behaviour. They KNOW what he was. They should get on with their lives and allow Alexis Jay and her team do their righteous job.