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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

C.2: Leicestershire County Council and allegations against Lord Janner

9. In its opening submissions to the Inquiry, Leicestershire County Council accepted that it:

“did have knowledge at the time about Lord Janner’s association with a child who was a resident in one of its care homes. A number of LCC [Leicestershire County Council] employees were concerned about the association and there is evidence that they raised these concerns with senior management. The LCC accepts that it failed to take adequate steps in response to those concerns.”[1]

10. Mr Sinnott said that evidence from the time indicated that the Director of Social Services, Mrs Dorothy Edwards (now deceased), had been aware of the contact between Lord Janner and a child from a children’s home, but that nothing suggested that Mrs Edwards was aware of any allegations of sexual abuse.

11. Mr Sinnott gave evidence concerning Lord Janner’s access to children in Leicestershire County Council’s children’s homes through informal arrangements that were in existence at the time. He confirmed that the Council did not conduct criminal records checks at that time and suggested that any kind of vetting procedure or policy would not have made any difference in the case of Lord Janner, given the likelihood that such checks would not have resulted in any issues being raised. When asked, Mr Sinnott confirmed that he had not found any documentation suggesting that there were visits by other dignitaries to Leicestershire County Council children’s homes, similar to those alleged to have been undertaken by Lord Janner.[2]

12. There appears to have been undue deference shown to Lord Janner because of his position as the local Member of Parliament, such that he was given unrestricted access to a child who was resident in a children’s home, and little if any thought given to any child protection issues that could have arisen from their association.

13. It is clear that a number of Leicestershire County Council’s staff were aware of, and had concerns about, Lord Janner’s association with a child in its care such that further enquiries about the nature of the association were necessary. As Leicestershire County Council acknowledges, the lack of any formalised procedure for visitors or befrienders, coupled with a lack of concern by the Director of Social Services, led to no enquiries being made.

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