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CPS Decision on Lord Janner does little for Public Faith in UK Justice

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to prosecute Labour peer Lord Janner despite serious allegations of child sex abuse.

More than a dozen people complained to police that Lord Jenner had abused them during the 1970s and 1980s. Lord Jenner was alleged to have used his influence as Labour MP for Leicester to prey on vulnerable young boys at children's homes throughout Leicestershire.

The CPS decided not to prosecute Lord Jenner because of the "severity of his dementia" even though they admitted there was enough evidence to charge the peer with 22 sex offences against nine people.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said that, 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.

Evidence existed to charge Lord Jenner back in the early 1990s. The CPS admitted today that it made “mistakes” in its previous decision making, saying that "Victims of the alleged offences have been denied the opportunity of criminal proceedings in relation to the offences of which they have complained."

Leicestershire Police led Operation Enamel, the latest investigation into Lord Jenner’s abuse, and said the decision not to prosecute Lord Jenner is completely wrong. Leicestershire Police Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said that the decision would "do little to support and encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward".

Mr Bannister said that the police may well challenge the decision and added, "There is credible evidence that this man carried out some of the most serious sexual crimes imaginable over three decades against children who were highly vulnerable and the majority of whom were in care.

"I am extremely worried about the impact the decision not to prosecute him will have on those people, and more widely I am worried about the message this decision sends out to others, both past and present, who have suffered and are suffering sexual abuse."

We have spoken publically about the issues raised by the decision on Sky News, Channel 5 News, the Nick Ferrari show and the Vanessa Feltz show. 

The decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions that it is not in the public interest to proceed with a case against Lord Greville Janner will do little to restore the public’s faith in transparency of the justice system.

Once again, as in the cases of Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile, we have an example of allegations which should have been fully investigated many years ago, where failure to do so has resulted in failure to see these issues properly tested in a court of law.

Richard Scorer is Head of the Abuse Team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are currently advising a Janner victim. We are also representing over 800 victims of sexual abuse in other cases including Cyril Smith, Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile.

If you or someone you know has suffered abuse and you would like expert legal advice free of charge, please call our Abuse Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and tell us when to call you.

All communication with us will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading personal injury law firm with more than 1,450 staff and 18 offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield, Halifax, Wakefield, Derby and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

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