Greville Janner gets away with it !
Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial
Court hearing on 87-year-old peer's mental health is told former Labour grandee is suffering from 'advanced and disabling' dementia
Lord Janner has been declared unfit to plead in a criminal trial over a range of sex abuse charges dating back 50 years, a senior judge has ruled.
In a hearing at the Old Bailey on the 87-year-old's mental health, Mr Justice Openshaw said the peer was suffering from "advanced and disabling" dementia.
He detailed reports from four leading psychiatrists and psychologists which had been commissioned by both prosecution and defence - all of which agreed the peer's mental health was very poor. Janner did not attend the latest court hearing.
"Medical opinion is... all one way," said the judge. "The inevitable and irresistible conclusion is the defendant has advanced and disabling dementia which is deteriorating and irreversible and, accordingly, I find that he is unfit to plead."
At a the last hearing in October, both prosecution and defence barristers made it clear there was no dispute between them that Janner was not well enough to stand trial.But the judge told them that the matter should be decided following a "short opening" in court as the public was "entitled to know" why.
Janner is accused of 22 sex abuse charges and there is due to be a rare "trial of the facts" heard in the new year.
One of the doctors who examined Janner on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service was Professor Michael Kopelman, an expert in memory loss and a professor of neuropsychiatry at King's College London.
He examined Janner four times between February last year and September this year.
Summarising the most recent report by Prof Kopelman, the judge said of Janner: "He can now hardly speak and when he does it is to make inappropriate, repetitive statements.
"He scarcely recognised his own family and he has entirely lost his short term memory.
"He is unable to give any account of his professional and Parliamentary history."
Earlier this year, a review of the case led the Crown Prosecution Service to overturn its decision not pursue charges against Janner due to his ill-health.
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Janner is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Twenty-one of the offences relate to complainants who were aged 16 or under at the time.
"The inevitable and irresistible conclusion is the defendant has advanced and disabling dementia which is deteriorating and irreversible"
Mr Justice Openshaw
He added that it was important to balance openness over the decision not to proceed with a criminal trial with "protecting the defendant's privacy".
The judge acknowledged there had been what he described as "unjustifiable scepticism" among some members of the public regarding the legal process surrounding Janner.
The judge added that the peer had been examined by "eminent" doctors.
"Each is of the opinion that the defendant is suffering from such severe disability, namely dementia ... that he is unfit to be plead or to be tried," the judge said.
Prof Kopelman's report from March this year said: "Lord Janner would be unable to understand the charges against him, to comprehend that a juror could be challenged, to instruct his lawyers, to comprehend the details of evidence, or to follow and recall the court proceedings."
Another expert who examined Janner on behalf of the prosecution, Dr Kate Humphreys from St Thomas' Hospital - which sits on the River Thames opposite the Palace of Westminster - said it had been impossible to carry out the full range of cognitive tests because his condition was so poor.
His mental health problems are a combination of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, she concluded.
Another psychiatrist, Dr James Warner, examined Janner for the defence.
Based on this report the judge said: "During cognitive testing he appeared somewhat perplexed and mildly irritable; his speech was abnormal, with periodic slurring of words, some being incomprehensible.
"He exhibited a condition known as ‘logoclonia’, being the repetition of simple words; he then had only a limited vocabulary.
"Most of his answers were inappropriate to the questions asked; indeed, he gave virtually no coherent answers to the questions asked.
"He was often bewildered by simple requests, even when made in simple language and given The defence cognitive testing he appeared somewhat perplexed and mildly irritable; his speech was abnormal, with periodic slurring of words, some being incomprehensible.
"He exhibited a condition known as ‘logoclonia’, being the repetition of simple words; he then had only a limited vocabulary. Most of his answers were inappropriate to the questions asked; indeed, he gave virtually no coherent answers to the questions asked. He was often bewildered by simple requests, even when made in simple language and given repeatedly."
Greville Janner: a timeline
Allegations of child sex abuse are first made against Lord Janner in 1991 during the trial of convicted paedophile Frank Beck, but have persistently dogged the Labour Peer since then
NWN: When we first heard that scoundrel Judge Openshaw was hearing the case, we knew the outcome. We mentioned this on this very site when it was announced. Janner is above the Law you see. Openshaw has worked to Janners agenda all his life. Freeing Pakistani murderers and hammering white patriots - both at Preston Crown Court. Oh and Openshaw is one of them ! A look at the names mentioned, also give some indication of the ethnic makeup of just what's gone on here.
And a happy Chanukah to Greville Janner !