Child abuse lawyer Peter Garsden has welcomed the decision of an independent QC who has overruled the original decision of Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, not to charge Lord Janner over claims of historical sex abuse because of his dementia.
The case has been listed for Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 7 August following the decision by David Perry QC that it was in the public interest to bring proceedings before a criminal court. Lord Janner will face criminal proceedings relating to 22 allegations of historical sexual abuse against nine children. The trial is expected to be a trial of facts, where a defendant is found unfit to stand trial but the evidence in the case is heard and the court decides whether they carried out the acts they have been accused of.
Mr Garsden, whose firm is representing a number of victims alleging abuse at the hands of Janner, said: ” After a 2 year wait whilst the police carried out an investigation into the way in which Lord Janner allegedly abused many children over a number of years, we finally hear that the decision not to charge him has been reversed after review, which means that he will finally stand trial but only of the facts. The victims will no doubt feel that this decision has gone some way towards their journey of seeking justice. Since the effect of this decision concludes that the opinion of the DPP not to charge Janner, was wrong one wonders how her position of DPP is now affected. I continue to plead for witnesses to the many assaults to come forward so that we can collect corroborative evidence of the alleged abuse many years ago”.
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: “I have always said that in my view this was an extremely difficult and borderline case because of the strong arguments on both sides. I have also always emphasised my concern for the complainants in this case. “I understood their need to be heard, which is why I contacted Justice Goddard to ensure that they could give evidence as part of the public inquiry. However, the review has concluded that this forum, albeit a public one, cannot substitute for the adjudication of the courts. I accept the outcome of the review and will now be bringing this prosecution to allow for that adjudication to happen.”
The family of Lord Janner meanwhile still stand by their claim that he is innocent of any of the allegations made against him.
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