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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.4: The criminal proceedings in 2015

Background

89. In late 2012, Leicestershire Police received correspondence suggesting that Lord Janner should have been prosecuted for child sexual abuse offences. As a result, Operation Enamel was commenced to establish whether there was any evidence not previously considered by the earlier police investigations, including Operations Magnolia and Dauntless, and to consider whether there was an opportunity for the Crown Prosecution Service to review its previous decisions. Whilst some of the allegations had previously been investigated, other complainants first contacted the police during the course of Operation Enamel.

90. Mr McGill explained that, in October 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service issued Guidelines on Prosecuting Cases of Child Sexual Abuse (‘the 2013 Guidelines’).[1] He said that the introduction of updated guidance was in part connected with the Jimmy Savile allegations and that the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr (now Sir) Keir Starmer QC, was instrumental in trying to change the way the Crown Prosecution Service approached these cases. The 2013 Guidelines referred to prosecutors taking a ‘merits-based approach’ when considering whether the evidential test was met.[2] Mr McGill explained what was meant by the ‘merits-based approach’:

“to look at the case as a whole free from what we call myths and stereotypes. So you make a decision based on the merits of the case that is put in front of you, not based on any bias or pre-judged determination of how people might act in particular circumstances”.

Mr McGill also referred to Annex C of the 2013 Guidelines, which lists ‘Myths and Stereotypes’ about child sexual abuse. He said these were “a reminder to prosecutors to not think in rigid tramlines” and acknowledged that there “are many reasons why people may not give you all the material at the first available opportunity”.[3]

Operation Enamel

91. Operation Enamel was a significant police investigation. Led by D/Supt Hewson as SIO, “at the height” of the investigation there were approximately 30 officers involved and, by January 2016, the budget was “in excess of £400,000”.[4] Nearly 800 witness statements were taken, more than 1,000 exhibits were examined, over 8,000 documents were registered on HOLMES and in excess of 3,600 lines of enquiry (actions) were raised.

92. Officers involved in Operation Enamel contacted JA-A19, JA-A6 and JA-A8. They were shown their original statements to see if they wanted to add, clarify or amend any matters, and they were asked if they were willing to support any future prosecution of Lord Janner. The police also made some additional enquiries and, where applicable, traced witnesses in relation to JA-A19, JA-A6 and JA-A8’s complaints.

93. As new complainants came forward, their allegations were investigated and, where appropriate, their social services records and documentation relating to their children’s homes were examined. In liaison with Leicestershire County Council, approximately 600,000 documents were collated.[5] Medical and mental health records were reviewed, as were education records.[6]

94. We also heard evidence that Operation Enamel had carried out enquiries that had not been completed during earlier Leicestershire Police investigations into allegations concerning Lord Janner. An additional witness also came forward, following publicity about the April 2015 decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to bring proceedings against Lord Janner, stating that she had worked in a hotel and, on one occasion, had seen Lord Janner in bed with a teenage boy.[7]

95. D/Supt Hewson told us that Lord Janner was not arrested as part of Operation Enamel, as it was considered that the legal test for an arrest was not satisfied.[8] However, his home address and parliamentary office were searched. Police were planning to invite Lord Janner for an interview but a police surgeon advised that, in light of Lord Janner’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, “his cognitive function was poor and that the value of any answers, if he chose to answer questions, would be questionable”.[9]

Involvement of the Crown Prosecution Service

96. Throughout 2014 and 2015, officers from Operation Enamel sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service and independent senior counsel (Eleanor Laws QC) on whether any further enquiries should be pursued or additional evidence obtained and, ultimately, whether any charges should be brought. In total, 40 complainants made allegations of abuse against Lord Janner. By 2015, those complaints were at various stages of investigation or completion, but there were 12 complainants in relation to whom full police investigations had been undertaken (ie those where the majority of the main lines of enquiry had been completed).[10]

97. Ordinarily, where the Crown Prosecution Service decides that there will not be a prosecution, the case will not start again. However, the Code for Crown Prosecutors sets out circumstances in which the Crown Prosecution Service may overturn a decision not to prosecute. These circumstances include cases where “more significant evidence is discovered later”, and cases where:

“a new look at the original decision shows that it was wrong and, in order to maintain confidence in the criminal justice system, a prosecution should be brought despite the earlier decision”.[11]

98. The Crown Prosecution Service reviewing lawyer, Ms Jane Wragg, advised that, as a result of new evidence, charges should now be brought. She also concluded that earlier decisions not to charge Lord Janner had been wrong.

Prosecutorial decisions in 2015

99. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms (now Dame) Alison Saunders, reviewed the evidence gathered in Operation Enamel. She also considered the written advices provided by Miss Laws QC and Ms Wragg, both of whom advised that charges should be brought in respect of allegations made by nine complainants.

100. Despite this, on 16 April 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that, although the evidential test was met, the medical evidence in respect of Lord Janner’s health was such that it was not in the public interest to prosecute him. It issued a press statement which stated:

“The CPS has concluded that Lord Greville Janner should not be prosecuted because of the severity of his dementia which means he is not fit to take part in any proceedings, there is no treatment for his condition, and there is no current or future risk of offending.”

The press statement noted that “but for medical considerations, it would undoubtedly have been in the public interest to prosecute”.

101. The day before the Crown Prosecution Service announcement, the Director of Public Prosecutions and Leicestershire Police wrote to the complainants informing them of the decision. That decision was subsequently reviewed as part of the Victims’ Right to Review scheme. We heard that the Victims’ Right to Review was:

“a procedure whereby, if a qualifying prosecution decision has been made and a decision not to prosecute would be such a decision, the CPS has committed to having that decision relooked at by an independent prosecutor, a prosecutor who has taken no previous involvement in the case”.

102. We were told that “the difficulty in this case was, of course, that the DPP had been involved in the decision making, so there was no-one more senior than the DPP in the organisation”, and so an independent review was carried out, informed by advice from senior counsel.[12]

103. Leicestershire Police also sent a pre-action protocol letter indicating that there would be a potential legal challenge of the decision not to bring charges. On 29 June 2015, the Director of Public Prosecutions announced that her earlier decision had been overturned and that Lord Janner was to face criminal proceedings.

104. In September 2015, at a preliminary hearing in the criminal proceedings, the indictment contained 22 counts of indecent assault and buggery contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 1956. The offences were alleged to have taken place between 1963 and 1988, when the nine complainants (all of whom were complainant core participants in this investigation) were aged between 8 and 16 years old. Some complainants were former residents of Leicestershire County Council’s children’s homes, others were not.

105. At the time of Lord Janner’s death in December 2015, the prosecution had indicated that it was seeking to add 12 further counts relating to three additional complainants. These included allegations of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery, said to have taken place between 1969 and 1985 when the complainants were all aged 16 years or under.

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