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The trial of Greville Janner

Lord JannerIs it possible to not be surprised yet be shocked at the same time? If it is, that’s what I felt this morning when the news came through that Lord Janner, the former Labour MP for Leicester West would not be charged. Shocked because the testimony and evidence is compelling, not surprised because of the crippled, senile old man Janner has become. The Crown Prosecution Service concluded that it would not be in the public interest to follow through with a prosecution and, as much as I wish it was otherwise, this decision is the right one.

As a Labour Party member he would say that.” Well, no. As someone interested in justice being seen to be done, I am saying that. Anyone following the Janner case will have their opinion about his guilt or otherwise. I certainly have my views, and they’re not a million miles away from the sentiment that’s been gushing like a torrent on Twitter all afternoon. Yet we still – just – have the right to innocence until proven otherwise, and that applies to those accused of the most disgusting crimes. So where the evidence is concerned, let’s just say there is a compelling case to answer. And on this point the CPS agrees.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is this. When Thatcher died, the truth was the woman who inspired admiration and hatred in equal measure had been killed by her dementia many years previously. All that was left was a flailing body scarcely aware of the passage of the day, let alone knowledge of who she once was. The same goes for Janner too. I haven’t got access to his medical records, and neither has anyone else. Though one fully expects the CPS have, and took the trouble to examine them thoroughly. I think we can be reasonably confident that Janner’s legal team haven’t pulled an Ernest Saunders, who secured an early release from prison after being diagnosed with senile dementia, only to make a remarkable recovery after several months of freedom. Though, of course, the concealment of these records from public view are likely to fuel the notion this is the establishment covering for one of their own.

Ultimately, the question comes down to this. Ideally, should Janner have his day in court? Most certainly, and it is appalling that allegations made previously were brushed under the carpet and ignored. But what justice can possibly seen to be done by putting someone on the stand who is incapable of answering the charges and following proceedings? We do not hold trials in abstentia for defendants who no longer possess the capacity to understand what’s happening to them, which is the only possible “equitable” solution under these circumstances.

It is awful that Janner’s accusers can never confront him. But his figure is tainted, his reputation trashed, and trial by media well underway. Justice wasn’t done, but Greville Janner has been crucified before the public all the same.

This article first appeared at All that is Solid

19 Comments

  1. John.P reid says:

    Within hours of Lord Brittans death earlier in the year ,at the time Labour MP, Tom Watson, took to the airwaves commenting on alleged peadophilia ,whatever Leon Brittans past, nothing had got anywhere near a charge let alone a guilty verdict,

    Brittan of course had faced controversy, not only over the well documented losing of a file of suspected parliamentary peadophilia while he was Home Secretary, but When a smear, discrediting Michael Heseltine, over his row with Mrs a Thatcher over whether the UK should help our Westland helicopters continue to be built,or let us buy American ones, to appease Ronald Reagan, Brittan took the Fall, and let parliament for a job in Brussels,
    Much mystery surrounded this, other forces being believed ,as the real reason of his departure,

    Lord Jenner has face various allegations regarding children over the years,some making the papers,some being reported too police,and inquiries were made, with no prosecutions,

    The Fall out of operation Yewtree,and the police prosecuting Nigel Evans, then Deputy speaker, over male adult abuse,and witnesses being coerced into saying things from receiving unwanted passes being made, to drunk sexual activity, we’re all thrown out, by the jury,
    the campaign labour members Simon Danczuk and John Mann launched, two years ago, at the same time the revelations of police and the Labour council at the least turning a blind eye to Asian men claiming to be Muslims, finding poor white working class girls, plying them with drink and gifts to endure in group unwanted sexual activity and rape.

    Saw Danczuk reveal Liberal MP for the Area from 1972-1992 Cyril Smith to be a notorious peadophilie,Smiths name had came to light for it,during 1979 when Private Eye and a local paper ran the story, the papers at the time were persuaded to drop it,as it would have prejudiced, former Liberal leaders, conspiracy to commit murder charge over a former gay lover,something Thorpe wanted kept quiet,
    Smith for his part had said that he had smacked boys bums, for punishment while doing charity work, and the police we’re rounded to drop the allegations,

    Lord Janner is of course still innocent till proven guilty,like Lord Brittan ,Brittan during his last months alive was willing to do-operate with police, and whatever he knew died with him
    Having seen Janner six months ago ,he certainly had his wits about him, if the acPS say that Janners dementia means he can’t face prosecution, then they know more than me, but what I do know is Janner is fit enough to face Labours NEC at region, even during an election, he must explain himself, and if he can prove enough to have not been credited with,the slightest of evidence of allegations, (his Defence team would have been told the times locations and names of witnesses, if not those who claim to be victims) ,then he must be allowed to be continue to be a member of the party, if not Labour must expel him,even if it’s temporary,now

    1. gerry says:

      John – some interesting points in what you say here, but as other commenters have pointed out to you, and I say this respectfully as a fellow Labour supporter – before you submit your comments, just read back what you have written, spell check everything, then read again to make sure every sentence reads accurately and grammatically. Then – and only then – press “submit”!

      This is what I do each time I comment, even though I still make occasional typo mistakes and the like…but your arguments and points will be stronger if they are clearly and accurately written.

      1. Billericaydickie says:

        Yes, generally excellent posts from John but they are sometimes difficult to read because of the way they are phrased as well as a lack of paragraphs.

    2. Giles says:

      I’m sorry this whole innocent until proven guilty line is hogwash when the state refuses to prosecute. Stalin and Hitler were never convicted of their crimes. Do we have to assume their innocence? Obviously not! We have enough evidence of their guilt to convict them even though it never went to court. The chances of a single rape allegation being false is around 5%. The odds of 25 victims falsely accusing one person? You do the math. The presumption of innocence means if you are a juror you put aside prior assumptions and start with a blank slate, filling it in with the evidence produced in court. No more no less. It doesn’t mean that if you find a man raping your daughter you can’t assume his guilt.

  2. while there is no way a senile person should be put on trial, who defines dementia? The logical procedure is to start the trial and then the defence puts in its evidence. This is what normally happens in a trial where insanity is alleged. However lawyers can spell out the procedure. Detained at HM pleasure is the usual verdict.

    The wide issue is what is happening to the public investigation now Butler Sloss has been ruled out. Any information on this?

    Trevor FIsher

    1. Robert says:

      The cost are to great when you know the out come

  3. gerry says:

    The UK criminal justice system, and its political masters do this every time – wait for decades to address a crime, by which time it is too late to ever get real justice or even the truth… I am thinking of Orgreave, Hillsborough, worker and union blacklisting, Cyril Smith, Jimmy Savile, the contaminated blood crisis, Stephen Lawrence, and now the alleged crimes of Grenville Janner.

    The only recent exception I can think of is the Leveson inquiry which was set up relatively quickly after the many crimes of the Sun, News of the World and Mirror were revealed…as they say, justice delayed is justice denied.

  4. Robert says:

    The fact is they should have done this years ago now he cannot say anything which would perhaps drag others in this pit we think existed in the 1950’s to the 1990’s a paedophile ring .

    They obvious had evidence of this many years ago and now it’s to late, I expect the next government will make compensation payments to the people to make them go away and Janner will die a Lord, then and only then will they look at this but he is dead his mind has died.

    I suspect MP’s or ex MPs are thinking thank god his mind has gone.

    we need to have the report into the paedophile ring which is now obviously being held back.

  5. Robert, the English are a people who do not take a lot of interest in politics.

    But it is counterproductive to lie to them. Every now and then the English wake up and demand action. WHile the Westminster bubble is ignoring the crises it is facing, unlike most issues child abuse is one even the drunk in the public bar gets annoyed about.

    Clever people run the system. But often they are too clever for their own good.

    Trevor Fisher

  6. James Martin says:

    There is a serious problem at the heart of this situation relating to Janner. Were he to be already dead, like Cyril Smith, then no doubt it would be possible to put into the public domain the results of investigations and enquiries into his activities. But as he is still alive does this now stay in limbo until he isn’t any more?

    Because surely the importance of this case is in its potential to be linked to wider establishment paedophile activities of which I suspect we only have the tip of the iceberg so far. Smith is one example (and one where the likes of the odious little toad David Steel has a lot of explaining to do given Private Eye exposed Smith when Steel was Liberal leader), but there are also issues around Thatcher – her strong friendship with Saville, and Peter Morrison (who was dogged by allegations connected to North Wales that still have not been properly investigated) and that she may have also protected Smith.

    So with al that lucking down in the sewer is the real reason for the Janner decision another example of the establishment trying to keep the lid on things to protect others?

  7. Mick Hall says:

    Phil

    OK, but the victims get no justice, How can that be right, if there is to be no trial at the very least they should be given sight of all the evidence, the public, yes us, should also have chapter and verse as to why the creep was not prosecuted.

    Plus the British security services must explain why they on more than one occasion gave Janner a clean bill of health. (Membership of Lord’s etc)

    Janner’s case, Kincora, Elm Guest House, etc, all have the finger prints of the British security services all over them.

  8. The Butler Sloss Inquiry should be able to investigate the living. It is a moot point what has happened to this now that Butler Sloss has been booted into touch.

    As the ramifications go so wide then it is a genuine issue whether this can be sorted by British inquiry alone. The Belgians managed to stop their own mess being investigated.

    A citizen’s inquiry with judicial support perhaps?

    Just to add fuel to the fire, in the West Midlands, Enoch Powell is being accused of child abuse and other crimes.

    Trevor Fisher

  9. There are many problems in dealing with what is known as ‘historical’ abuse cases; I should know, as I have pursued one myself. My (main) abuser also pulled every trick in the book so as not to face justice; in which he succeeded. That, ultimately, is his problem; not mine.
    My experience was heard and believed; as was the impact that such ritual abuse had effected on my life. It took me about 30 years to disclose what had happened to me as a child, adolescent, and young adult, leading to a catastrophic lifestyle. This resulted in what would be described as a nervous breakdown; which is quite understandable.
    What was unforgivable was for my mental state – exacerbated by years of abuse – to be used against me to question the validity of my testimony. It believe the technique is called ‘gaslighting’ which – along with accusations of ‘false memory syndrome’ – is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
    Due to my understandably chaotic responses to my earlier traumatic experiences, I fell in amongst what could only be described as a ‘bad crowd’ of quite powerful people who manipulated and used me for some further years, working on my needs for love, understanding, and validation to fulfill their own base desires.
    I could not tell of these experiences until I knew that most of my abusers were dead, or at least beyond legal recourse, such is the power that they held over me.
    Once I began to feel able to start to disclose, the floodgates still did not open; it is still piecemeal as I learn to recognise the wrongs that were committed against me. It is one thing to confide to a trusted friend; quite another to be interrogated by worthy yet uncomprehending professionals whose expertise is by practise rather than by experience.
    They don’t know what it’s like.
    All the above notwithstanding, there are some things that people who have had such experiences can do; although it may take a great deal of support with no guarantee – as noted – of having one’s day in court.
    Organisations, such as the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), may take on legal claims, but there is the overarching need for someone who understands to be available for all those times in between when all one needs is for somebody to say something along the lines of ‘I know what it’s like …’, ‘you did not deserve or were responsible for what happened to you …’, or even ‘you’re an amazing survivor – I couldn’t have gotten through anything line that.’
    My particular path to recognition of my experiences was though ChildLine, ACAL, Victim Support, the Metropolitan Police, their Juvenile Protection Unit, a particularly wonderful lawyer, and many others; leading to my story finally being heard.
    Nobody should be inappropriately touched by the ‘untouchables’ …

  10. typo: ‘you’re an amazing survivor – I couldn’t have gotten through anything like that.’

  11. Chris says:

    I believe he is innocent. Accusations made so long after the alleged crimes are worthless in my eyes.

    1. Giles says:

      You ignore that these crimes were reported long ago but covered up. Even the DPP says the evidence is compelling. I take it you think all the survivors in Rotherham are lying too, despite likewise having gone to the police at the time?

  12. there is no way the longevity of the crimes is relevant. Would this cover up the crimes of Jimmy Savile? or the other criminals currently going through the courts?

    Funny how the correct idea that someone is innocent until proven guilty is switched round to not having prosecutions.

    Trevor Fisher.

  13. Chris says:

    If accusations were made in the past, they were failed accusations. Now the poor chap’s too senile to defend himself people can get away with saying all sorts.

    There should be a statute of limitations for such offences.

    I don’t believe any accusations of “historic sex offences”. Ever.

  14. the accusations against Rolf Harris were made years after the offences and he is now serving time in Stafford Gaol. Those against Jimmy Savile were made after he was dead – and were correct. It is as Tom Watson has said widely believed that the abuses were covered up by the police at the time, who ignored accusations made because the accusers were poor and in some cases disabled.

    The only limitation is on the evidence available. Allowing the establishment to get away with offences makes the cynicism of the public and hatred of politicians and the police more intense. Is this what you want Mr Chris- and what is your analysis of how the public would react to this? At NUT conferences in the 1980s it was widely rumoured that Savile was abusing at Stoke Mandeville.

    Who was covering up his crimes? Is a cover up what you want?

    Trevor Fisher.

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