Lord Janner has appeared in court for the first time over historical child sex abuse charges. The BBC reported that 87 year old Janner, who has dementia, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for less than a minute.
Lord Janner faces 22 charges spanning the 1960s to the 1980s and was told his case would be sent to crown court.
The appearance, during which Lord Janner confirmed his name, was brief, with the charges read out after he left and the full hearing taking less than 12 minutes.
The full report by BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw can be read here.
Commenting, leading abuse lawyer Peter Garsden, whose law firm Simpson Millar are representing 8 clients who have alleged abuse by Lord Janner said: “We hope that Lord Janner appearing before the court today will finally begin to accelerate proceedings now the case has been referred to the Crown. My clients and I have long held the view that justice can be best served by Lord Janner attending court in person at the earliest possible opportunity, so it is a relief to have finally arrived at this stage. We fully support the view of both Chief Magistrate Riddle and District Judge Arbuthnot that it is in the public interest for Lord Janner to appear in person to answer the accusations before him. We look forward to the next hearing on the 1st September and in time, my clients having the opportunity to outline their accusations in a court of law.”
Following Janner’s brief appearance in court Peter Garsden was interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Radio 5 Live. Asked for his reaction to the day’s events Mr Garsden said that it was a ‘great relief’ on behalf of the complainants that they were ‘one step closer’ to the end of the case when they would be able to get on with their lives. Mr Garsden went on in saying that the past few weeks and months have been completely overwhelming for his clients in terms of the media interest and exposure that the case received. He said they were ‘very very angry’ when they heard Lord Janner wasn’t going to be charged and that they were ‘very relieved’ when that decision was overturned.
The full interview airing on BBC Radio 5 Live can be listed to by clicking on the player below.
Lord Janner was released on unconditional bail, with the next hearing to be held at Southwark Crown Court on 1st September.