Independent Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry WILL investigate the late Greville Janner and whether there was a cover up

lord janner

Lord Janner Image courtesy BBC

The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has decided to go ahead with a wide ranging inquiry into allegations that the late Greville Janner was involved in child sexual abuse and whether the Labour Party, the intelligence services, Parliament and government departments could have been involved in a cover up.

The decision, announced on the inquiry’s website, comes despite strong objections from Lord Janner’s family and a plea from retired  Assistant Chief Constable Tony Butler, from Leicestershire Police  to halt investigations immediately.

The terms of the inquiry are set out in a full statement  from Alexis Jay, chair of the inquiry here but the full terms are worth repeating in full.

” 1. The Inquiry will investigate institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC (“Lord Janner”).
2. In particular, the Inquiry will consider
2.1. the adequacy and propriety of law enforcement investigations and prosecutorial decisions relating to allegations falling within paragraph 1 above;
2.2. the extent to which Leicestershire County Council and the Kirkwood Inquiry were awareof allegations falling within paragraph 1 and the adequacy of their response;
2.3. the extent to which the Labour Party, Parliament, government departments, and/or the security and intelligence agencies were aware of allegations falling within paragraph 1 and the adequacy of their response;
2.4. the extent to which any other public or private institution may have failed in its duty to protect children from sexual abuse in respect of the allegations falling with paragraph 1;
2.5 whether any attempts were made to exert improper influence in order to hinder or prevent an institution from effectively investigating or otherwise responding to allegations falling within paragraph 1.
3. In light of the investigations set out above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings and recommendations to improve child protection and safeguarding in England and Wales. ”

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Daniel Janner QC Pic credit: http://www.regulatorycriminallawyers.co.uk

In a series of private meetings Lord Janner’s three children, Daniel Janner QC,Marion Janner OBE and Rabbi LauraJanner-Klausner,  objected to further inquiries while they were pursuing cases against people who had claimed they were sexual abused by him in the civil courts.

They two daughters argued: “The Janner family and Estate remains energetically opposed to the singling out of an innocent, dead man for a paradigm case study that will, necessarily, be based on incomplete and distorted information.

“It is a further insult to Lord Janner’s posthumous reputation with consequential cost to the Janner Family and Estate, including devastating emotional upset.
It would be more representative to pick a prominent person from public life as the paradigm who is either alive,or has been subject to a prosecution process (whether convicted, or not).”

Daniel Janner argued:“the decision on whether to hold the investigation and whether it should be part of the Westminster strand should be put on hold pending the outcome of the civil case and IPCC.”  He insisted that his father was innocent.

There was also an attempt by the Janner family to have one member of the panel, Dru Sharpling removed from this particular inquiry, on the grounds that she could have a conflict of interest having worked for the Crown Prosecution Service and HM Inspector of Constabulary, but this was rejected by Amber Rudd, the home secretary.

But the strongest objection came from the former assistant chief constable of Leicestershire Tony Butler, who wanted the inquiry stopped.

He argued:”this particular investigation is unlikely, by virtue of temporal scope, number
of institutions involved or as a paradigm of the “pendulum effect”, to contribute
any unique or unusual feature”

He claimed all previous inquiries had already established what needed to be done in Leicestershire – during the time Frank Beck, who was found guilty of numerous child sex abuse attacks – in the 1990s. This is quite evidently not the case as the excellent book Abuse of Trust by  Paul Gosling and Mark D’Arcy which examined the Beck scandal reveals.

But this was rejected by alleged victims of child sexual abuse and counsel to the inquiry and their view prevailed.

I am very pleased with the decision particularly now it is known that the scope of the inquiry will be wide ranging. It is equally important that the inquiry looks at whole picture surrounding the allegations of child sexual abuse against Lord Janner which means delving into the Labour Party, Parliament, the security services and Whitehall and also forensically investigating whether there were further cover up. if they appear to be true.

So I applaud Alexis Jay for pursuing this against a background where some newspapers would rather it was not investigated.

 

Operation Pallial: Bringing too long awaited justice for child sexual abuse survivors after nearly 30 years

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Gordon Anglesea: Now a convicted paedophile Pic Credit: BBC and John Price

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

The conviction of former North Wales police inspector Gordon Anglesea for indecent assault against two teenage boys has been a long time coming. Too long.

His conviction last week along with John Allen, the former owner of Bryn Alyn  and Bryn  Estyn children’s homes in North Wales, who was convicted of a further 33 offences against children, are the high spots of the National Crime Agency’s Operation Pallial investigation.

This investigation along with the Macur inquiry  into child sexual abuse in North  Wales would never have been set up unless Theresa May when she was home secretary, had seen the need for it.

And some of the victims would never had any justice or ever believed.

I  have reservations about the openness of the Macur inquiry but the police investigation has been a success contrary to views of some naysayers. My Macur reservations are heightened by revelations on Paddy French’s Rebecca website which suggests that Lady Macur was less than open about Angelsea. See the link here.

Those like Harvey Proctor  who condemn Theresa May for establishing the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse might well pause. For this police investigation has yielded results. It proved those who said that there was no need for  further investigations into the North Wales and it is not worth investigating claims of historic sexual abuse were wrong.

Both convicted men were arrogant, evil and thought because of their powerful positions in the North Wales hierarchy they were untouchable and could abuse vulnerable children at will.

Both mounted similar defences. John Allen said he wasn’t gay, was not sexually attracted to children and had suffered a “miscarriage of justice ” when he was convicted in 1996 of sexually assaulting six boys.in the first place. His accusers were making it up to get compensation money, his defence lawyers said. He is now rightly in jail for life.

Gordon Anglesea took a similar line saying it was a conspiracy by the survivors to accuse him of indecent assault so they could obtain  money.

This is the man who won  £375,000 damages  in 1994 against The Observer, the Independent on Sunday, Private Eye and HTV, the holder of the ITV franchise in Wales over allegations that he had abused children during visits he made to the Bryn Estyn children’s home just outside Wrexham. He also pursued the satirical magazine Scallywag  through its distributors.

It is worth looking at the Inforrm blog today which carries a report on how the libel case was successful.

Operation Pallial – which ceased  handling new claims last month –  has now succeeded in convicting  nine men.A total of 340 people have made contact with the investigation and 84 complaints were still being actively investigated at the end of July.

It would be a good idea if  the National Crime Agency shared with other police forces how they managed to secure convictions for historic child sexual abuse – as they seem to have made a good fist of it. And the police need advice on how to proceed with such cases – particularly in North Wales where former police officers were accused.

For the survivors it has been particularly grim – waiting all that time for justice. As Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye, pointed out : ” I can’t help thinking of the witnesses who came forward to assist our case at the time, one of whom later committed suicide telling his wife that he never got over ‘not being believed”.

That about sums up the injustice survivors have had for 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I bovvered? The Ministry of Defence on sexual abuse and bullying of forces’ kids

Ministry of Defence: Not safeguarding forces children

Ministry of Defence: Not safeguarding forces children

A virtually  unreported hearing of the Commons defence committee has revealed an extraordinary complacent state of affairs of the Ministry of Defence towards complaints from forces parents of sexual abuse and bullying at private schools.

MPs from all three parties have condemned the attitude of officials responsible for paying out school fees for forces children who evidently admit to refusing to move their children from a school if they are bullied or sexually abused.

A full report is  published today on the Exaro website by Frederika Whitehead and myself ( see http://www.exaronews.com/articles/4971/mod-policy-on-claims-of-child-sex-abuse-at-schools-stuns-mps ).

The MPs anger in part stems from a report on The People  ( see http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-probe-sexual-assault-claims-1781432 ) which revealed that Stanbridge Earls School in Hampshire where soldier’s children are sent by the MOD  was now the subject of a sexual abuse police investigation.

But the real anger came from three  MPs. Madeleine Moon, Labour MP for Bridgend, said “The MoD should put the protection of children first, not the protection of the ‘continuity of education allowance’ first.”
Two other MPs on the committee – Sir Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, and Penny Morduant, Conservative MP, for Portsmouth North, also had strong views.

And Tom Watson has also expressed concern. “This has highlighted the inadequacies of the MoD’s rules for military education. In not offering parents greater choice, the system is too rigid. Worse, the ‘don’t cause a fuss’ attitude of the department makes it hard for the families of service personnel to publicly voice their concerns. This has to stop.”

In its defence the MOD said it did not always enforce this rule. However it is a pretty bad state of affairs in the present climate that the MOD do not seem to have a duty of care towards the children of its forces personnel – given many are serving abroad and not on hand to easily intervene when their kids face bullying or sexual abuse. It all suggests that the forces still have some very antiquated attitudes towards these issues. Expect more investigations from Exaro in this area.

Exclusive: Police raid gathers evidence on MPs and celebs in political paedo inquiry

The former Elm Tree Guest House now flats; Pic courtesy: Exaro

The former Elm  Guest House now flats. The raid was at a separate flat in London where Mary Moss lives. Pic courtesy: Exaro

Operation Fairbank, the Met  Police investigation, started after allegations from  Labour  MP  Tom Watson of an alleged paedo ring involving  Westminster MPs, has taken a significant new turn.

A report on Exaro News website ( http://www.exaronews.com ) today  by ex Guardian journos David Pallister and myself  goes into full details.

Basically documents, including a list of Mps , Conservative, Labour and Liberal – some dead, some alive – and other prominent figures , which we have seen but are not naming, are now in the possession of the police. They also have the 16 names of the boys who  could have been sexually abused.
The raid last week on the flat of Mary Moss, a former head of the now defunct National Association of Young People in Care, allowed police to look at documents relating to the Elm Tree Guest House in Barnes, west London, in the 1980s. Police obtained a search warrant after she declined to co-operate but she is now co-operating fully with the investigation.

Another 19 box files , hidden in a neighbours shed, were voluntarily handed over to the police by Mary Moss after  the raid.

The police have also asked Richmond Council to hand over a full dossier of young people in their care at the time after being alerted by a source who came to Exaro.