Lord Janner will not have to attend court next week

Lord Janner will not have to attend court next week

Lord Janner
Lord Janner
File photo dated 10/9/1996 of Lord Greville Janner as a leading child abuse lawyer has written to Britain's most senior prosecutor in an attempt to overturn the decision not to bring the Labour peer to trial.
Lord Greville Janner

Lord Janner will not be compelled to attend court next week when his case comes to the Old Bailey.

The 87-year-old peer was due for his first Crown Court appearance over 22 child sex abuse charges spanning three decades.

He faces 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims over the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Mr Justice Sweeney, presiding judge for the south eastern circuit, will hear the case at the Old Bailey from 2.30pm on Tuesday.

But sources at the court confirmed that the senior judge would not require Lord Janner to be present for the hearing.

The peer had been forced to turn up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for an initial hearing after a week-long wrangle over the issue.

His attendance lasted just 59 seconds and came after numerous attempts by his defence lawyers – three court hearings over a week – to avoid him having to attend.

His legal team insisted he was too ill to go because of his advanced dementia.

But two senior judges ruled the former Labour peer and MP must attend because of “the obvious and strong public interest in ensuring those summoned to court attend when required”.

Dressed in a soiled bottle green cardigan, blue T-shirt and navy trousers and, using a walking stick, he entered the courtroom saying: “Oooh, this is wonderful.”

He sat at a desk near the entrance used for vulnerable witnesses and looked around the room before being asked if he was Lord Janner.

He replied: “Yes.”

The peer was escorted into the courtroom by a minder and woman believed to be his daughter.

Calling him “daddy”, she said: “We’re going to go home and have an ice cream.”

Janne,r in Muswell Hill, north London, is on unconditional bail.



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