Jan­ner sex abuse claims: In­quiry is put back to 2020

COUNTY FORCE AND COUN­CIL BE­ING IN­VES­TI­GATED OVER HAN­DLING OF AL­LE­GA­TIONS AGAINST LABOUR PEER

Leicester Mercury - - News / Weather - By CIARAN FA­GAN ciaran.fa­gan@reach­plc.com @cia­ranefa­gan

THE pub­lic hear­ing into child sex­ual abuse al­le­ga­tions against for­mer Le­ices­ter MP Gre­ville Jan­ner has been pushed back to 2020 to al­low “new lines of in­quiry” to be ex­plored.

The In­de­pen­dent In­quiry into Child Sex­ual Abuse (IICSA) has set aside three weeks in Fe­bru­ary 2020 to ex­am­ine pub­lic bod­ies’ his­tor­i­cal han­dling of the mul­ti­ple al­le­ga­tions against the late Labour MP and peer.

It says the hear­ing has been sched­uled to al­low the In­de­pen­dent Of­fice for Po­lice Con­duct (IOPC) to com­plete its own in­quiry into the role of Leicestershire Po­lice in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the late politi­cian’s al­leged crimes against boys, many of whom were liv­ing in chil­dren’s homes at the time.

The al­leged vic­tims had hoped the IICSA hear­ing would take place in early or in the mid­dle of next year.

The IOPC, formerly the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC), said yes­ter­day its in­ves­ti­ga­tion was tak­ing longer than orig­i­nally en­vi­sioned be­cause of the emer­gence of new “lines of in­quiry”.

It could not give a date when it ex­pects its work to con­clude and al­low the IICSA hear­ing to be­gin.

That will en­able up to 33 men to give their ac­counts of al­leged abuse by Jan­ner.

He was ac­cused of 22 sex­ual of­fences against boys be­tween 1963 and 1988 but died shortly be­fore Christ­mas 2015, aged 87.

His death ended the prospect of his al­leged vic­tims’ ev­i­dence ever be­ing tested in a crim­i­nal court.

His fam­ily in­sists he is in­no­cent of any wrong­do­ing.

Three chances to put the politi­cian on trial for child abuse were missed be­cause of mis­takes by the po­lice or pros­e­cu­tors, a re­tired High Court judge ruled in the weeks af­ter his death.

Sir Richard Hen­riques said in Jan­uary 2016 that the for­mer Le­ices­ter MP should have been charged with of­fences against boys in 1991, 2002 and 2007.

The cases did not pro­ceed be­cause of the “in­ad­e­quacy” of po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions or de­ci­sions by se­nior pros­e­cu­tors, Sir Richard re­ported.

A fourth Leicestershire Po­lice in­quiry – Op­er­a­tion Enamel – would have led to charges had the Labour politi­cian not be­come se­verely ill with de­men­tia and be­ing deemed un­fit to stand trial in late 2015.

The IOPC is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the con­duct of of­fi­cers who were with the force at the times of those in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The IICSA was asked to look at whether ef­forts to try the for­mer Labour MP for Le­ices­ter West for al­leged child abuse when he was alive and well were “hin­dered or pre­vented” by pub­lic au­thor­i­ties.

Leicestershire Po­lice, Leicestershire County Coun­cil and the Labour Party

It is dis­ap­point­ing the hear­ing has been put back so far into the fu­ture... I want clo­sure

Al­leged vic­tim John Gater

AL­LE­GA­TIONS: Gre­ville Jan­ner MP was ac­cused of 22 sex­ual of­fences against boys be­tween 1963 and 1988

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