Lord Janner sex abuse trial of the facts to be heard, court rules

Lord Janner, who is accused of 22 sex abuse charges, will have his trial of the facts heard in the new year.

The 87-year-old is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Twenty-one of the offences relate to complainants who were aged 16 or under at the time.

Janner was excused from attending the hearing before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey today.

A fitness to plead hearing will take place on December 7 this year, and a provisional trial date has been set for February 22 2016, at a venue to be confirmed.


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Last month, Lord Janner was forced to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court for 59 seconds after a week-long legal wrangle over the issue.

His legal team had insisted he was too ill to attend in person because of his advanced dementia.

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But two senior judges ruled that the former Labour peer and MP must appear because of “the obvious and strong public interest in ensuring those summoned to court attend when required”.

Accompanied by a minder and woman who is believed to be his daughter, Janner confirmed his name during the first court appearance.

Janner, of Springfield Avenue in Muswell Hill, north London, is on unconditional bail.

Greville Janner was Labour MP for West Leicester for 27 years from 1970 to 1997, before becoming a peer when he left the Commons. He was suspended by the Labour party in April.

A trial of the facts is when a jury hears the evidence against an individual considered too ill for a full trial.

It is not considered a trial as such because the defendant cannot put forward a defence.

There is, therefore, no guilty verdict and the court cannot pass sentence. All it can do is make a hospital order, a supervision order, or an order for the defendant’s absolute discharge.

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