Lord Janner will be forced to appear in court to face 22 child sex abuse charges despite his lawyers claiming he is ‘unfit’
Lord Janner fails to appear in court for abuse hearing because of dementia
But judge rules that he is required by law to stand in the dock
CPS head under pressure after decision not to prosecute was overturned
Labour peer is accused of 22 sex attacks on children over 19 years
By MARTIN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE
7 August, 2015
Lord Janner was today ordered to appear in court after he failed to arrive to face 22 child sex charges because of his dementia.
Chief magistrate Howard Riddle refused to accept the defence’s claim the Labour peer would suffer a ‘catastrophic reaction’ if he was forced to stand in the dock.
The district judge said: ‘He wouldn’t have to enter pleas, he wouldn’t have to say anything. I imagine he would be here for less than two minutes. It matters not whether he understands the proceedings’.
He added: ‘There is only one issue: is he fit enough to come through that door for less than one minute?’
The former Labour peer and MP, 87, who has Alzheimer’s, faces a trial of fact over 22 child sex charges in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
His lawyer Andrew Smith QC told the first court hearing in the case at Westminster Magistrates Court: ‘Lord Janner is not in attendance. The reason for that submission on his part is that he is unfit to face the court.’
Giving evidence for Janner, Dr James Warner, who has 20 years experience working with dementia, told the court: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that Lord Janner has dementia and that it is severe.’
He added that Janner’s condition was ‘beginning to really impact on his day to day life’, and that he was ‘highly likely to become distressed’ in court.
He said the severity of dementia ‘would impair to a very significant extent his ability to communicate verbally’ and that ‘he would not be able to understand that he was in court’.
Dr Warner added that Janner was also showing the early signs of Parkinson’s.
But despite this Mr Justice Riddle ruled he was required by law to attend and the court was adjourned to allow lawyers to determine when he might appear.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3187708/First-court-hearing-historic-child-sex-abuse-claims-against-Lord-Janner-place-today.html#ixzz3i8dL89uW