Skip to main content

0800 917 1000   Open weekdays 9am-5pm

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC Investigation Report

B.1: Operation Magnolia

Background

1. In 2000, Leicestershire Police commenced Operation Magnolia to investigate whether there was evidence of physical or sexual abuse of children at two children’s homes in Leicestershire. The allegations of abuse were mainly focussed on the actions of staff working within the homes. However, during the course of the Operation, two of the complainants – JA-A19 and JA-A6 – also alleged that Lord Janner had sexually abused them when they were children.

2. The senior investigating officer (SIO) was Detective Superintendent (D/Supt) Graham Thomas. D/Supt Graham Thomas died in 2017 and so, as with other witnesses who have died, we are reliant on what inferences can be drawn from documentation and evidence from other witnesses. The parameters of Operation Magnolia were “to investigate whether there was any evidence of physical or sexual abuse of children at The Holt and the Ratcliffe [Road] Children’s Homes”, and the Operation investigated allegations made between 1980 and 1990.[1] Disclosures outside those parameters were to be individually assessed (policy 36).[2] D/Supt Graham Thomas’s policy book stated that the parameters of the Operation were to be reviewed and discussed with the Assistant Chief Constable (Operations) (ACC/O) as the enquiries developed. At the start of the investigation, David Coleman was the ACC/O. From April 2001 to April 2002, Michael Creedon was the ACC/O.

3. As is not uncommon in investigations of this type, the police were in contact with the Crown Prosecution Service to seek their advice on various aspects of the investigation. For example, it was decided that:

“the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] would examine the evidence before any arrests were made in order to advise whether there were sufficient grounds for criminal proceedings against suspects”.[3]

4. In order to bring a criminal prosecution, the Crown Prosecution Service must be satisfied that the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors is met. This test has two stages, which require prosecutors to consider (i) whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction (the evidential stage of the test) and (ii) whether it is in the public interest to prosecute (the public interest stage). Both stages of the test must be met before a suspect can be charged with a criminal offence.

5. With an initial budget of £10,000, at the start of the investigation there were 10 officers and two civilian staff assigned to Operation Magnolia.[4] The Deputy SIO was Detective Inspector (DI) Richard Keenan, who joined in 2000 and was “required to supervise the day-to-day running of both the investigative team and the HOLMES team”.[5] HOLMES (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System) is a police database that processes information to assist the management of an investigation and the allocation and progress of tasks (known as ‘actions’). Once an action has been completed, it is reviewed and, if no further work is necessary, it is placed in the ‘resulted queue’, and then ultimately ‘filed’. ‘Pended’ actions relate to actions that are to be allocated on a predetermined date. Documents generated by actions are logged on HOLMES with unique reference numbers (for example, ‘S1’ is statement 1 and ‘X1’ is exhibit 1).

6. During the course of Operation Magnolia, 106 potential witnesses were identified and traced, 76 of whom made statements. Fifty-six of the 76 witnesses were former residents of the children’s homes and made allegations against staff members.[6] The majority of complaints related to Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home, which resulted in 26 members of staff being interviewed as suspects.[7]

7. Detective Sergeant (DS) James Wynne joined at the outset of the Operation as an enquiry team supervisor responsible for the team that conducted the external enquiries. He told us that the police’s first task was to trace and interview 12 former residents of Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home, as a “precursor to making a decision as to whether to widen the operation … to see what level of offending there may have been”.[8]

8. DS Wynne told us that he thought it was “a constant struggle for Mr [Graham] Thomas to try and keep the resource levels high enough to keep the investigation ticking over”, and that officers were “abstracted” to go and work on murder enquiries or other major incidents, which meant the Operation Magnolia investigations “stood still while we were away”.[9] He said that “on reflection” he thought the Operation was probably under-resourced.[10]

9. Detective Constable (DC) Nigel Baraclough, one of the team of officers involved in Operation Magnolia, told us that the Operation was a low-priority investigation, allocated to the least experienced SIO and Deputy SIO, and was poorly staffed. The Operation was classed as a Category C investigation, the lowest of three gradings for a major investigation. He said that the SIO was inexperienced and the Detective Inspector (DI) was an acting DI who had never worked on a HOLMES-led major enquiry before. He stated that he could understand that the team was small in the initial stages but that it had required further staffing when the investigation grew. His evidence was that he did not feel that the enquiry was given the commitment it deserved from the senior management perspective, in particular by the Chief Superintendent and above. He also referred to abstractions to other investigations, but said that he could recall that officers were returned to Operation Magnolia at the earliest opportunity and that, in the long term, he did not feel that abstractions inordinately affected the effectiveness of the enquiry.[11]

The investigation into JA-A19 and JA-A6’s allegations

JA-A19

10. JA-A19 was identified as one of the 12 residents at Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home that the police wished to speak to. DS Wynne conducted a number of tape-recorded interviews with JA-A19, the first of which dealt with the complaints against staff at his children’s home. At the conclusion of these interviews, JA-A19 disclosed the alleged sexual abuse by Lord Janner, and so arrangements were made to interview him about the Janner allegations.[12] The allegations included abuse said to have occurred in a building described by JA-A19 as a white house.

11. DS Wynne told us that he informed D/Supt Graham Thomas about the Janner allegations and assumed that D/Supt Graham Thomas would report the allegations to more senior officers. DI Keenan stated that it was his “expectation” that the allegations against Lord Janner would be referred to the Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) with responsibility for the conduct of criminal investigations within Leicestershire Police at that time.[13] Normal practice would have been to inform ACC/O Coleman and ACC/O Creedon about the Janner allegations, but we have seen and heard no evidence to suggest that they were informed.

12. The account given by JA-A19 in his interviews was drafted into a witness statement.[14] The allegations against Lord Janner were recorded in a separate statement to his allegations against the children’s home staff. The Inquiry heard that JA-A19’s witness statement relating to the Janner allegations (identified as statement S4C) was never signed and was undated. DS Wynne said he recalled preparing a handwritten version that he wanted JA-A19 to sign. A handwritten version has not been located. DS Wynne also told us that he was “quite confident that S4C was never signed” because, as he recalled, after some point in January 2001, JA-A19 “refused to co-operate any further”. Although he was not aware of the reason why JA-A19 was not co-operating, he said “My presumption would be that he was not prepared to face us and challenge his lies”. The Inquiry was told that JA-A19 denies being uncooperative.[15]

13. Statement S4C appears to have been drafted some time in or around March 2000 but was not entered onto HOLMES until November 2001. DS Wynne added that he was “fairly confident” that either the SIO or the Deputy SIO decided that the statement was not to be signed until “we’d completed the enquiry relating to the detail of it”. He said that the “half completed” S4C was kept either locked in the office or in his desk drawer, until “we needed to see him again to clarify any of the results of the actions arising out of it”. While actions were raised in respect of JA-A19’s other statements, no actions were created in respect of the account provided in statement S4C. Acting DI (A/DI) Kevin Yates, who was part of the Operation Magnolia investigation team, told us that an 18-month delay in inputting a statement onto HOLMES would be “exceptional”.[16]

14. DS Wynne told us that he made some enquiries into JA-A19’s allegations against Lord Janner, including taking JA-A19 on a ‘drive around’ to identify the locations where JA-A19 said he was abused. Whilst some other enquiries were undertaken, DS Wynne said that JA-A19 was “sufficiently vague making it all but impossible” to identify the other boys present when JA-A19 said he was abused by Lord Janner. He also said that JA-A19 was:

“vague during the interview regarding who he might have made early disclosures to, only to row back without identifying anyone”.

When asked about these comments, DS Wynne explained that JA-A19 was vague in comparison with the detail he gave about the abuse that he alleged was perpetrated by the children’s home staff. He said that, following the interview:

“I may have been sceptical after, because he wasn’t able to furnish us with the sort of detail I would have expected from him … I didn’t think he told us everything that he should have done, or could have done on the first visit”.

15. DS Wynne said it was “absolutely” his intention to go back to JA-A19 to ask him if he could recall any more information surrounding his complaint. Given that JA-A19 was seen again in August 2000 and January 2001 (when he signed statements S4A and S4B respectively), it is difficult to understand why JA-A19 was not asked to provide any further information on either of those two dates.

16. DS Wynne told us that he thought it “was a possibility” that JA-A19 was lying and that he was “sceptical” about JA-A19’s complaint. He did not accept that he was “quick to dismiss JA-A19’s allegation about Greville Janner”. DS Wynne refuted the suggestion that the police’s effort appeared to be placed on investigating the complainant, with insufficient effort placed on building a case. He said he believed that the police investigated the Janner allegations “as fully as we could”.[17]

17. When asked what steps he had taken to identify evidence that supported JA-A19’s allegations, DS Wynne said:

“The investigation, or approach was driven by the HOLMES team. It wasn’t my place to generate independent enquiries to support the witness”.

18. We do not accept DS Wynne’s evidence that Leicestershire Police attempted to build a case. Beyond carrying out some general enquiries, including the matters referred to above, we consider that there was a failure to investigate JA-A19’s allegations concerning Lord Janner. Nor do we accept his purported justification for the failure to fully investigate JA-A19’s account. DS Wynne was not required to slavishly follow only those actions generated by HOLMES – he had been a police officer for 16 years by the time of Operation Magnolia, and so was of sufficient seniority and experience to be able to suggest that a line of enquiry should be pursued whether generated by the HOLMES team or not.

JA-A6

19. In May 2001, JA-A6 was interviewed by officers from Operation Magnolia. His allegations about abuse within his children’s home, Moel Llys in Leicestershire, were written up into statement S101. He also made an allegation of a sexual nature against Lord Janner which was contained in a separate witness statement, S101A, dated 29 May 2001.

20. In July 2001, following a review of statement S101A, three actions were raised for further work to be done:

  • Action 4171 – trace and interview Lord Janner “re: indecent assault on JA-A6”. The action also stated, “Pend action as outside current parameters”. This action was allocated to DS Wynne on 21 November 2001.
  • Action 4172 and 4173 were identical and stated, “TI [trace and interview] Jones re: visits by Janner to Moel Llys Home”.[18] The Joneses ran the Moel Llys Children’s Home. Both were marked “Pend action as outside current parameters”. This action was allocated to A/DI Yates on 22 February 2002.

21. A decision to ‘pend’ an action essentially means that the action is placed in a ‘waiting queue’ until such time as the SIO or Deputy SIO makes a decision about whether the work is to be undertaken. DS Wynne told us that there could be a number of reasons why an action might be pended, including where the action was deemed to be out of scope. When asked about action 4171, DS Wynne told us that, on or around 21 November 2001, the action would have been printed out and placed in his in-tray. However, he said that this was not an instruction for him to trace and interview Lord Janner, as “along with a number of other actions … this was closure time”. He went on to say that the action was printed off:

“for me and other officers to write – to complete them as no further – not further relevant pending the decision of the CPS … but we were effectively writing them off”.

22. When asked what he did with action 4171, he said, “I think I’d been told to sit on it or write them off and close the enquiry down”. Although it was not his decision that Lord Janner should not be arrested, he agreed with the decision.

23. A number of points arise from this piece of evidence.

23.1. The Inquiry is not aware of any other investigative work undertaken by the police in respect of JA-A6’s Lord Janner complaint in the period between 29 May 2001 and 21 November 2001.

23.2. Contrary to policy 36, JA-A6’s complaint appears, on the evidence we have seen, not to have been individually assessed.

23.3. DS Wynne was allocated this task a week before the meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service on 28 November 2001 (see below). If the action was ‘pended’ to await the views of the Crown Prosecution Service, it is all the more surprising that the Janner allegations were not mentioned at that meeting.

24. By January 2002, action 4171 was returned to the HOLMES team, who recorded: “Action submitted for consideration of the question of pursuing these enquiries in view of the CPS decision not to pursue the evidence of JA-A6 (28/11/01) who is the originator of this action”.

25. The evidence in respect of actions 4172 and 4173 to trace and interview Mr and Mrs Jones is equally troubling. By the end of July 2001, the HOLMES reviewer had clearly identified that enquiries should be made with Mr and Mrs Jones. In the absence of evidence from D/Supt Graham Thomas and any entry in the policy book, it is assumed that the SIO or his deputy decided to pend this enquiry. What is clear is that no one was tasked with this obvious line of investigation.

26. A/DI Yates told us that, by the start of 2002, Operation Magnolia was being “wound down”. He told us that “the only way to move those actions out of the pending queue” was to allocate them to an officer, and from there for the action to be filed. He said actions 4172 and 4173 were not allocated to him for the purpose of him undertaking those enquiries, but “for the purposes of processing them through HOLMES”. He thought the rationale for not progressing the actions was that the SIO was “always very firm about not stepping outside the terms of reference” and they “were closed on the basis that [the SIO] had given the instruction that there be … no further follow-ups into those actions”. When being filed (see above), rather than stating that the Janner allegations were outside the scope of Operation Magnolia, actions 4171, 4172 and 4173 recorded a different reason for the actions not being completed, which A/DI Yates said was not “subterfuge” but a result of “an error and a confusion”. A/DI Yates said that there would not have been any difficulty in marking the actions as having been closed off because “the SIO … has told me not to pursue this allegation”, and said that he could not explain why he had not done that in this case.[19]

27. Towards the end of his evidence, A/DI Yates accepted that it now appeared that JA-A19 and JA-A6’s allegations against Lord Janner were not thoroughly investigated and that they should have been pursued. A/DI Yates described a conversation with DI Keenan during which A/DI Yates had been informed of the allegation concerning Lord Janner. A/DI Yates said that he was informed “that the [SIO] was dealing with it awaiting a decision, which [he] would interpret as being a conversation with chief officers”. He said that he could specifically recall being told that the allegation against Lord Janner was in the SIO’s “bottom drawer”, and that he had “got the impression … that it was perhaps being put to one side, or certainly being held back until any decisions could be made about it”. He added that he thought it was “fair to say that [it] wasn’t a line of enquiry that was being pursued actively”. Asked whether he had formed the impression that the statement was being put to one side because Lord Janner was a local Member of Parliament (MP), A/DI Yates replied:

“It would be easy to surmise that. I wasn’t aware of any particular conversation about it, other than that chat with [the Deputy SIO]. I don’t have any particular reason to think that, but it is obviously quite easy to draw that conclusion”.

He said that it was a “fair comment” to suggest that nothing was really done in relation to Lord Janner when he was involved in Operation Magnolia.[20]

28. Officers in Operation Magnolia did not undertake sufficient enquiries to investigate the Janner allegations properly. Contrary to Leicestershire Police’s own policy that “all allegations of sexual abuse will be investigated” and that “disclosures falling out of the above parameters will be individually assessed”, minimal investigation took place in respect of JA-A19’s allegations, and there was seemingly no investigation carried out in relation to JA-A6.[21] No individual assessment of the allegations occurred. However, based on the evidence we heard, we doubt that this was because the police were unduly influenced or placed under improper pressure not to do so. The police seemingly lacked the desire to thoroughly investigate these allegations.

Decisions relating to arrest and interview

29. DS Wynne said that when it came to deciding whether Lord Janner should be arrested and/or interviewed, he thought the decision would have been taken in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service.[22] He said he would have expected there to be a written policy setting out the rationale behind any decision to arrest Lord Janner but that he was not aware of any such written policy.[23] DS Wynne was of the view that the investigation never got to the stage where it was appropriate to interview Lord Janner, as he considered that there were concerns about JA-A19’s credibility in relation to the allegations he had made against both Lord Janner and children’s home staff.[24] Addressing the more general issue of a complainant’s credibility, DS Wynne acknowledged that the fact that a person had been spoken to previously by the police and had not made an allegation of abuse “counted against them”. He said this was “the way we operated in those days”.[25]

30. We have seen no arrest policy in respect of Lord Janner in the policy book of the SIO, D/Supt Graham Thomas, nor does it appear that the Crown Prosecution Service was asked to advise on whether Lord Janner should be arrested. In the absence of any evidence from D/Supt Graham Thomas, it is not possible to come to any conclusion about the reasons why Lord Janner was not arrested in 2001.

Crown Prosecution Service decision-making

31. By September 2001, there was a policy entry that stated that decisions as to whether suspects were to be charged, or whether ‘no further action’ was to be taken against them, would be a joint enterprise between the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

32. On 28 November 2001, police attended a meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss the allegations that had been made about children’s home staff. A number of suspects were due to answer their police bail in early December 2001, and so the meeting considered the complaints made against the staff of the children’s homes and whether charges should be brought. Police prepared schedules of allegations which sought to establish any corroborative information and take into account any negative or potentially discrediting information. Notes of the meeting were taken. They set out, in brief terms, the name of the suspects being considered, the names of the complainants who alleged abuse and a short sentence summarising the decisions taken at the meeting. DS Wynne described the notes of the meeting as “sparse”, and said that they “don’t really convey the depth of that meeting”.

33. The notes of the meeting make no reference to Lord Janner or to JA-A19 and JA-A6’s allegations about Lord Janner. When asked if the allegations against Lord Janner were discussed at the meeting, we heard contradictory accounts.

33.1. DS Wynne initially told us that he was “sure” that the Janner allegations were brought up, adding “I wouldn’t say that they were hidden in any way”.[26] He subsequently told us that he did not now remember if the Janner allegations were mentioned.[27] He did not accept that the Crown Prosecution Service was not informed about JA-A19 and JA-A6’s allegations.

33.2. A/DI Yates said that he was able to recall that allegations against Lord Janner did not form part of the meeting. He said that there “may have been” a positive instruction not to discuss Lord Janner. Asked about the police’s approach to the allegations, he said that the Janner allegations were “not actively, and not to [his] knowledge” being buried. A/DI Yates accepted that JA-A6 and JA-A19 had both been discussed during the meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service, but said that he could not recall anyone mentioning the allegations concerning Lord Janner. He accepted it would be “quite a big thing” and that, if it had been raised, he would have expected the Crown Prosecution Service lawyer to question it and ask “Well, where’s the evidence, where’s the statement?” A/DI Yates said that the records of the meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service suggested that the Crown Prosecution Service was not told about JA-A19’s statement, S4C, or JA-A6’s statement, S101A. Referring to a decision that was made that JA-A19 and JA-A6 were unreliable, A/DI Yates accepted that that decision appeared to have been made without reference to their complaints against Lord Janner.[28]

33.3. Mr Roger Rock, the Crown Prosecution Service lawyer present at the meeting, told the Inquiry:

“I was not informed of those allegations against Janner at that meeting. Had I been, I would have immediately ended the meeting and referred the matter to the Chief Crown Prosecutor because I would have had to refer certainly that part of the file, and possibly more of it, to headquarters for consideration.”[29]

33.4. D/Supt Matt Hewson stated that when the later Operation Enamel (the 2012–2015 police investigation into allegations against Lord Janner) reviewed the Operation Magnolia paperwork (discussed below), it indicated that the Crown Prosecution Service was not asked to advise on the Janner allegations.[30]

34. Based on all the evidence we heard, it seems that the statements of JA-A19 and JA-A6 were not submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service. This was a significant and unjustifiable failing. The fault for that omission lies solely with Leicestershire Police and not with the Crown Prosecution Service. Notwithstanding the fact that JA-A19 and JA-A6’s complaints against children’s home staff were discussed, it seems that the allegations against Lord Janner were not mentioned. The failure to mention him is troubling.

35. Ultimately, the Crown Prosecution Service advised that no charges should be brought against any of the children’s home staff. The reasons for this decision were set out in a Crown Prosecution Service advice dated 20 September 2002, in which it was stated that, for a number of reasons, the evidential test was not met.[31] Attached to Mr Rock’s advice was an annex setting out an analysis of the allegations against each member of staff, which included reference to “serious concerns about the credibility of several of the complainants”. In respect of JA-A19, the annex stated that he had made a “weak allegation that [JA-F9, a female member of staff] had allowed [JA-A19] to touch her between her legs over her clothing”. In relation to JA-A6’s allegations against staff, the annex stated: “has severe mental health problems and must be discounted as a witness”.

36. D/Supt Graham Thomas provided a summary of Mr Rock’s reasons in an email he sent to the Operation Magnolia police team.

36.1. Virtually all” of the allegations of physical abuse were “time barred”. The offence under consideration was common assault/battery pursuant to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, where proceedings need to be commenced within six months of the alleged offence. However, D/Supt Graham Thomas went on to state that “many of the physical assaults would have been proceeded with but for the time bar problem”.

36.2. Many” of the allegations of sexual abuse were uncorroborated, and there was “no supporting medical evidence”. Also, there had been earlier opportunities for the sexual allegations to have been mentioned when the witness was interviewed as part of other police investigations. DS Wynne agreed with the suggestion that a previous failure to disclose allegations of sexual abuse would have counted against them “at the time”.

36.3. The complainants were either unfit to give evidence or had turned “hostile”.

36.4. A major obstacle” was that the complainants were considered unreliable and that “scrutiny of the evidence identified contradictions, identification issues, mistakes and lies”.

37. DS Wynne said that he did not disagree with the Crown Prosecution Service decisions in respect of JA-A19 and JA-A6’s complaints against children’s home staff. DI Keenan said that he had left Operation Magnolia by the time of the decisions by the Crown Prosecution Service, but was “totally surprised to be informed … that no individuals were to be prosecuted”.

38. The applicable Code for Crown Prosecutors at the time of Operation Magnolia was the 2001 Code. The 2001 Code set out that, when considering whether the evidential test was met, a prosecutor “must consider whether the evidence can be used and is reliable”.[32] Mr Rock told us that:

“The only way cases of this nature can be prosecuted is by prosecuting individuals for specific offences and, therefore, each allegation has to be looked at on the evidence and in relation to a particular suspect.”[33]

39. In relation to the issue of reliability, paragraph 5.3 of the 2001 Code stated that a prosecutor should ask themselves questions including:

“e. Is the witness’s background likely to weaken the prosecution case? For example, does the witness have any motive that may affect his or her attitude to the case, or a relevant previous conviction?

f. Are there concerns over the accuracy or credibility of a witness? Are these concerns based on evidence or simply information with nothing to support it? Is there further evidence which the police should seek out which may support or detract from the account of the witness?”[34]

40. A witness’s reliability, and credibility, are always factors to be considered when the evidence is being examined but it appeared that the Crown Prosecution Service decisions about the allegations against children’s home staff focussed overly on these factors.

41. DS Wynne thought that the Janner allegations were investigated “as fully as we could”.[35] A/DI Yates took a contrary view. Asked if he now thought that the Janner allegations were ‘brushed under the carpet’, he said: “Yeah, I think, based on everything I’ve sort of seen and heard over the last few years, it’s hard not to be suspicious that that was the case”. He said that the factors that led him to this conclusion were “largely based on [his] subsequent knowledge” and that “at the time … [he] was inexperienced and perhaps not well equipped to question things anyway”. He explained that:

“the fact there is no policy decision, no record of discussions with chief officers, and of course now the delay in the particular statement being moved through the system, it is hard to give any other explanation for that, for those things”.

42. Asked whether he thought the allegations of JA-A19 and JA-A6 against Lord Janner should have been pursued, A/DI Yates said “it would be difficult to defend a decision not to”.[36]

43. A/DI Yates’s evidence about the Janner lines of enquiry being “in the bottom drawer”, coupled with his concession that there may have been a positive instruction not to mention Lord Janner at the Crown Prosecution Service meeting on 28 November 2001, creates the suspicion that these matters were deliberately withheld. However, it is not possible, two decades later, to come to a definitive conclusion about why this occurred. What is certain is that the police failed to properly investigate JA-A19 and JA-A6’s complaints, and this failure rests solely with them.

44. D/Supt Hewson told us that, in relation to JA-A19, Operation Enamel traced a number of the witnesses that JA-A19 said he had made disclosures to and that JA-A19 thought had also attended the ‘white house’. The occupants of the white house were also spoken to. D/Supt Hewson said that the outcome of these enquiries “didn’t yield much evidence that supported” JA-A19’s account. However, as a result of a review of the entirety of the evidence gathered in Operation Enamel, Lord Janner was charged with two allegations of buggery and two allegations of indecent assault in relation to JA-A19.

45. In relation to JA-A6’s allegations, D/Supt Hewson said that Operation Enamel found no reference “whatsoever” in JA-A6’s medical records to suggest that JA-A6 had “severe mental health problems”. Police traced Mr and Mrs Jones, five other staff members at Moel Llys Children’s Home, and a number of children who were resident at the home. None of those witnesses “could confirm that … they’d seen Lord Janner at Moel Llys”. D/Supt Hewson said that, in July 2014, JA-A6’s allegations were discussed with the Crown Prosecution Service and counsel, and it was decided that there “wasn’t enough evidence there, supportive or corroborative” to submit the file to the Crown Prosecution Service for pre-charge advice.

46. Complainants and suspects are entitled to expect allegations to be properly investigated when first brought to the police’s attention. Nearly 15 years had passed before JA-A6’s complaints were properly considered.

Other matters arising during Operation Magnolia

Comments alleged to have been made during Operation Magnolia

47. During the course of Operation Nori (from April 2015 to August 2019, see Part B.5 below), the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) obtained a statement from Detective Constable (DC) Sarah Cox. DC Cox worked on Operation Magnolia and was responsible for obtaining social services records. She recalls officers, including DS Wynne, making “flippant comments … like ‘he’s just a piss head’ and ‘he’s been in prison so he must be a scumbag’”. She said that she was “not aware of people being bias [sic] one way or another to the investigation including those officers who made flippant comments”. DS Wynne denied making such comments and said that he did not recall DC Cox. A/DI Yates did not recall such comments and said he would have “challenged any such comments” had they been made. DC Baraclough did not recall “ever hearing” such comments, and DI Keenan said he was “not aware of these disparaging comments at the time”.[37] DI Keenan stated that while the “vast majority of officers were totally committed to conducting a rigorous but objective search for the truth … There were, unfortunately, one or two exceptions”.[38] He described D/Supt Graham Thomas as “a very committed and careful individual” who regarded the investigations as “a search for the truth about serious allegations of sexual and physical abuse”.[39]

48. Given the divergence of evidence about these comments, we cannot come to a conclusion about what was said. However, poor attitudes such as these could explain why further investigations were not conducted.

JA-A25

49. During the course of Operation Magnolia, in March 2000, police interviewed JA-A25 and drew up a witness statement for him to sign. The statement makes no mention of Lord Janner. In a subsequent account given to officers in Operation Enamel in 2014, JA-A25 stated that, during the course of his Operation Magnolia interview, he was told that the police were not interested in information about Lord Janner, as it was not within the remit of the investigation.

50. DC Baraclough (and DC Alexander Nixon) interviewed JA-A25 over a number of days between 7 March and 16 March 2000. DS Wynne and DC Baraclough conducted a further interview on 21 March 2000. DS Wynne and DC Baraclough denied that JA-A25 mentioned Lord Janner to them. Both state that, had Lord Janner been referred to, they would have recorded it in their notebooks.

References

Back to top