Monday, April 19News For London

Pubilc disappointment at Lord Janner ruling

Some Twitter users expressed disappointment at a court ruling that found Lord Janner unfit to stand trial for sexual offences in Old Bailey on Monday.

The Guardian reported that judge Peter Openshaw, came to a ruling after four experts who examined him, agreed that the former Labour MP is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The judge said his condition was severe, incurable and had left him unable to participate in a full trial but would only face a “trial of facts”

Social media followers took to twitter to express their frustration at the outcome, with some blaming slow police action for the result.

One twitter follower wrote: “Right decision based on medical evidence, but yet another example of police not moving quickly enough”

Another commented and said “And another member of parliament avoids a date in court. Remarkable how they are all unfit to stand trial”

In June the Telegraph reported that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders had announced a reversal of an earlier decision to not prosecute Lord Janner for child sexual offences first levelled against him in 1991.

Victim’s fears

Chief Executive for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCCP), Peter Wanless was quoted then by the Telegraph as saying:

“It takes incredible courage for victims to come forward and they need to have confidence that those in positions of power and privilege are not above the law, or they will not muster the courage. Momentum is building in our society so that victims speak up believing justice can be achieved. The original decision not to prosecute was a setback – thankfully a temporary one.”

However the reversal has seen yet another setback as the Guardian reported that the court heard that;

“Due to severe dementia, Janner can no longer recognise his children and grandchildren; cannot speak, write or watch television; and is reliant upon a carer for his safety and personal hygiene,”

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In November, the BBC reported on findings by the Children’s commissioner that only 50,000 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded from April 2012 to March 2014, yet the actual number was up to 450,000.

Commissioner Anne Longfield stated then that many cases were going unreported. According to the report, the most disturbing findings of the research was that when children did pluck up the courage to tell someone,

even if they told the police, in many instances they still weren’t protected.

Many twitter users felt cases such as this one would discourage many sexual abuse victims from coming forward.