- Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders sparked outrage when she ruled the Labour peer’s dementia meant he would not be prosecuted
- Yet less than a week earlier, the former Labour MP was at the top of a list of company directors for his firm West Heath Road Seasons Ltd
- Janner, 86, stood down as a director of the company on April 10, six days before Miss announced would not be charged with 22 child sex offences
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders sparked outrage when she said his dementia meant he could not understand what would happen in a courtroom.
Yet less than a week earlier, the Labour peer was at the top of a list of company directors for his firm West Heath Road Seasons Ltd.
In official documents lodged at Companies House, he listed his occupation as: ‘Working Peer, Writer, Lecturer.’
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Lord Janner served as a company director until six days before being ruled too unwell to be tried for suspected child abuse
The company, which manages Janner’s £2million home and seven other flats in his luxury north London development, had reserves of £8,350, the latest accounts show.
Janner, 86, stood down as a director of the company on April 10, six days before the chief prosecutor announced he would escape being charged with 22 child sex offences.
It follows the revelation Janner transferred ownership of his apartment to his three children in the same month his Parliamentary office was searched by police last year, and four months after a similar raid on his home.
Now it can also be revealed the alleged paedophile used his holiday home on the south coast to entertain teenage boys, according to former neighbours.
The Labour grandee was a regular visitor to the flat in a discreet gated block with stunning sea views until it was sold last year.
The peer bought his two-bedroom holiday apartment in the upmarket East Cliff area of Bournemouth in 1987.
One former neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He was sometimes seen at the flat with much younger boys in their teens or early 20s.
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders sparked outrage when she said Lord Janner’s dementia meant he could not understand what would happen in a courtroom
At the time it was definitely noticed, but no one talked about things like that in public back then.’ Janner’s flat was on the seventh floor of a large clifftop block with views over the sea and the building’s outdoor swimming pool.
Neighbours said the peer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, was seen ‘coming and going’ as recently as last year.
A long-term resident said: ‘[Janner] was always in and out, in and out. Always in a hurry.
Former Bournemouth mayor Anne Filer, who is a leading member of the town’s Jewish community, said she never heard even a ‘whisper’ of concerns about Janner’s behaviour.
The peer owned a share of the freehold for the seaside flat until March 1996, when he transferred it to his wife Myra and daughter Marion, official records show.
Less than a week before the announcement he wouldn’t be charged, Lord Janner was at the top of a list of company directors for his firm West Heath Road Seasons Ltd
His wife died at the end of that year, and the apartment is thought to have passed into his daughter’s ownership before being sold in June last year for £300,000.
Leicestershire Police declined to comment on whether they were looking into Janner’s activities in Bournemouth, saying only that their inquiry remained a ‘live investigation’.
Meanwhile, the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said it was carrying out its own investigation into Leicestershire Police’s response to complaints of abuse by Janner and others made in 1991, 2001 and 2006.
Another of the peer’s alleged victims has come forward to describe how he was abused at a working men’s club in the 1970s.
The man said Janner befriended him when he was eight by buying him ‘pop and crisps’ while his single mother was at work.
But within months the then-Labour MP allegedly began sexually assaulting him in a ‘secret room’ at the club.
The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the abuse continued until he went to secondary school aged 11.
‘I have flashbacks of things that happened. I can see his face and his smile and his smirk in my head. I can’t get it out of my head,’ he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Janner’s family have issued a statement insisting he is ‘entirely innocent of any wrongdoing’.
Evidence doctored. Witnesses threatened. The damning child sex abuse dossier that alleges Lord Janner was allowed to molest young boys by one of Britain’s highest ranking police chiefs
Guy Adams investigates
Then MP Greville Janner with young schoolchildren when he was President of the Board of Deputies and lay leader of the British Jewish community
The tale of corruption and criminality is so sinister that it might have been plucked from the plot of a late-night TV drama.
At its heart is a famous politician with a dark secret: he has for years been living a vile double life as a prolific abuser of children.
His crimes are known to the forces of law and order in the city that he represents. Yet the local police chief, a close friend and fellow Freemason, works to ensure that he is never brought to justice.
At one point, when the ‘untouchable’ Parliamentarian is threatened with exposure, in a messy court case, local detectives falsify criminal evidence in an effort to protect him.
Soon afterwards, the politician sends ‘heavies’ to knock on the doors of witnesses, in the hope of intimidating them into staying silent.
Then allies in City Hall instruct staff to shred documents that might result in his repellent activities becoming public.
Finally, the police chief launches an organised campaign to destroy the reputation of a brave whistle-blower who is attempting to expose the whole, stinking business.
As a result, the abuse continues unchecked, on an industrial scale. Dozens, if not scores, more vulnerable children are abused. Many still bear the scars to this day.
At the heart of the alleged conspiracy to protect Lord Janner is Michael Hirst (pictured). He was the Chief Constable of Leicestershire for much of the 1980s
Corruption being a two-way street, the politician, meanwhile, helps funnel public money to the very police force whose bosses are helping him stay out of jail.
Sounds appalling, doesn’t it? But these deeply disturbing events have not been taken from a fictitious crime novel or TV script.
Instead, they are contained in a dossier of legal documents which outline events that took place in a British city during the 1980s and 1990s.
That city is Leicester. And the politician is Greville Janner, the Labour Peer and former MP who has in recent weeks been accused of countless child sex crimes, over a career that spanned four decades. His family have strenuously denied any such wrong-doing.
The fate of the 86-year-old is at the centre of a political storm after Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, decided that he should never be tried for his alleged crimes, which include 16 indecent assaults, and six counts of buggery, against nine children, because he is suffering from dementia.
In light of the ensuing controversy, which has seen more than 30 extra victims come forward, the aforementioned legal dossier, which I obtained a copy of this week, makes explosive reading.
Comprising dozens of letters, affidavits, witness statements and hundreds of pages of court papers, it offers a contemporaneous take from someone close to the case on how he believed Janner both committed his vile crimes and got away with them.
At the heart of the alleged conspiracy is a man called Michael Hirst. He was the Chief Constable of Leicestershire for much of the 1980s, and went on to become a director of the private security company Group 4.
According to the legal papers, which date from the early 1990s, Mr Hirst just happened to be ‘very close friends’ with Greville Janner. Both men, the dossier alleges, were Freemasons.
As a result of their relationship, it claims that Janner was protected from prosecution — even though his ‘activities with young boys’ were ‘well known by police’.
Although they knew that the MP had ‘been at it for years,’ junior officers said he was ‘never arrested, because strings are always pulled up above’.
Kelvyn Ashby at his home in Syston, Leicestershire. Mr Ashby investigated Greville Janner in 1991
In return, the documents claim, Janner repeatedly ‘stood up in Parliament asking for more money for Leicestershire constabulary.’ They also suggest that Janner’s criminal activities spanned several towns, regions and police jurisdictions.
In the market town of Coalville, for example, he ‘was involved setting up young homosexuals with flats in Agar Nook [a deprived housing estate] with the East Midlands Housing Association, and then calling round for payment in kind’.
At Leicester’s Holiday Inn, where the MP often stayed, the documents claim a witness ‘remembered the management closing the swimming pool to hotel guests, allowing Janner to swim in the pool with a young boy’.
In London, where he lived with his wife and children, and spent most weeknights, the papers allege that ‘the Met [police] at Notting Hill have a file relating to Janner and young boys’.
As far away as Scotland, an alleged victim approached staff at Edinburgh West Police Station in July 1991 and ‘made allegations of being buggered by Greville Janner while … on holiday for two weeks in Scotland alone with Janner’.
At this point, it should be stressed that the incriminating version of events outlined in the papers was compiled by one man.
Though it dovetails with much wider evidence about Janner’s alleged crimes, and seems at times to be forensically detailed (with statements and affidavits from multiple supporting witnesses), it was never properly tested in court.
The author was Ian Henning, a legal investigator (and former police officer) who had once worked on the defence team of a notorious convicted paedophile called Frank Beck.
Mr Beck, a former Liberal councillor and children’s home manager from Leicester, was, in 1991, given five life sentences, plus a further 24 years jail, for abusing youngsters in his care.
Owing to the severity of the crimes (police claimed Beck had abused 200 victims), the evidence at his trial was deeply shocking.
Lord Janner’s Hampstead home. He transferred ownership of his apartment to his three children in the same month his Parliamentary office was searched by police last year
The trial also revealed a sensational side plot in which a witness claimed to have been repeatedly abused by Janner during the 1970s, when he’d been aged between 14 and 16.
The witness, by the time of the court case a married father of three in his 30s, gave a credible account of being subjected to a terrifying sexual assault at the MP’s London home, while Janner’s wife and children were away.
He claimed to have then had an illegal sexual relationship with Janner which lasted for almost two years.
The man showed the jury affectionate letters from the MP, talked of being given expensive presents by him and told how he’d been taken to the Houses of Parliament, Labour HQ, and a string of expensive hotels.
Their abusive relationship only ended, he claimed, when he moved into a home run by Beck, who forbade him from seeing the MP.
Defence lawyers therefore attempted to use his testimony to argue that Beck was a protector, rather than abuser of boys. They described him as a ‘fall guy’ who was being prosecuted to protect the MP. The jury, of course, disagreed.
But after the 1991 conviction, Ian Henning, an employee of Leicester law firm Greene D’Sa, remained convinced of Beck’s innocence, and Janner’s guilt. He began working on an appeal.
It had the support of prisoners’ rights campaigner and Labour peer Lord Longford (who also believed in Beck’s innocence) and was to be handled in court by Anthony Scrivener, a QC famed for representing the Guildford Four (whose convictions were quashed after being wrongly jailed for 15 years for blowing up two pubs in the Surrey town in an IRA bombing campaign).
The documents quoted on these pages were all produced by Henning for that appeal.
As well as advocating Beck’s innocence, they offer a hair-raising, first-hand take on both Greville Janner’s alleged involvement in the case and its purported cover-up.
One of the papers is a witness statement written in 1993.
In it, Henning claims that during the run-up to Beck’s 1991 trial, junior police officers repeatedly told him that they were also investigating Janner for alleged child abuse.
‘On more than one occasion, police officers said “you must be the only bloke in Leicester who doesn’t know what he [Janner] gets up to”,’ it reads. ‘Police officers would be challenging and vociferous in making remarks such as “oh, it’s well known,” or “I’ve known about him for years”.’
The same police officers also claimed the MP was being protected by Chief Constable Hirst, Henning states.
Often, they would remark that ‘Janner and the chief constable are close personal friends’, or ask: ‘Why do you think that he [Janner] keeps standing up in Parliament asking for more money for Leicestershire Constabulary? No other Leicester MP does.
Labour Peer and former MP Lord Janner has in recent weeks been accused of countless child sex crimes, over a career that spanned four decades
‘One remark repeatedly made to me by numerous police officers while referring to Janner was “you’re in Leicester now and anything to do with Greville Janner will be covered up”.’
And so it proved.
Elsewhere in the 1993 document, which runs to 38 pages, Henning tells how, on May 11, 1990, detectives visited the home of Jennifer Lesiakowski, a former care home resident who alleged that she had been raped by Frank Beck.
They took a statement, and persuaded her to give evidence for the prosecution at his trial.
‘In her statement, [Lesiakowski] made reference to Greville Janner MP,’ Henning writes. ‘However, on May 17, 1990, the police officers returned to Lesiakowski with a typed copy of her original statement in which all reference to Greville Janner had been edited out.’
The documents also talk of how murky efforts began to be made to silence the alleged male Janner victim who intended to speak for the defence at the 1991 trial (and was by then living in Barnsley, South Yorkshire).
‘[He] was approached on two occasions by people who stated that they were representatives of Greville Janner and warned of the consequences for the witness, his wife and three young children if he attended any court hearing,’ Henning’s statement continues.
Henning says: ‘I assisted the witness to report these threats to the South Yorkshire and Leicestershire constabularies, as it was a deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice and frightened [the victim] and his family.’
As a result of the sinister visits, the victim moved home. But attempts to intimidate him continued.
‘During October 1991, [the victim] told me [Henning] that the tenants who moved into his old address answered a knock at their front door to two men who stated that they had been sent by Greville Janner to warn [the victim] not to give evidence in the Beck trial.’
These shady figures weren’t the only people apparently attempting to protect Janner in the run-up to Beck’s trial, however. So, too, were Leicester social services, in whose homes many of Janner’s purported victims had lived.
With regard to the man intended to testifty in court, Henning claims that ‘all mention of Greville Janner had been removed from [his] Social Services file.’
‘The “Befriender” record, which regulations require be affixed to the inside of the front cover of all Social Service files, detailing any period a child spends away from the Children’s Home with a “befriender”, was missing.’
Other files which might have exposed Janner’s abuse of other children were simply destroyed.
‘In early February 1991, I received information that files relating to the children who had attended the Beeches Children’s Home during the “Beck era” had been taken by the gardener to County Hall, where a council employee … had shredded them,’ Henning writes.
Lord Janner (right) sponsored Lord Carey of Clifton, who was previously Archbishop of Canterbury, on his introduction into the House of Lords in 2002
Eventually, two of the relatively junior detectives working on the case — named as Mick Creedon and Kelvyn Ashby — were told by their superiors to drop all inquiries into the MP.
‘There is no doubt in my mind that initially both Detective Inspector Ashby and Detective Sergeant Creedon intended to arrest Greville Janner,’ reads a different legal paper, compiled by Henning in 1991. ‘But as time progressed, using their own words, “we were prevented from doing so by higher ranking officers”.’
Both Ashby and Creedon have recently confirmed that version of events. Creedon — now Chief Constable of Derbyshire — says the decision to stop investigating Janner ‘was taken by people more senior than me’. Did those ‘senior’ people include Chief Constable Hirst?
Creedon has so far declined to name names to the Press, though he may be more forthcoming to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is believed to be investigating this affair.
As for Hirst, he is unable to pass comment, having died. But his widow, Ruth, denies that he was either a Freemason or a particularly close friend of the MP.
‘I think Michael thought Janner was guilty,’ she said this week. ‘I don’t know who made the decision not to arrest [Janner] but I suspect it was somebody higher up than Michael.’
One thing Hirst certainly did preside over, however, was a bizarre and — in retrospect — very sinister attempt to silence Ian Henning in the months and years that followed the Beck trial.
It began in late 1991, when Leicestershire police announced that Henning would no longer be considered a ‘suitable person to attend an interview of a suspect or person in custody at a police station’.
In a letter to Henning’s law firm Greene D’Sa, they added that the force had written to both the Law Society and the Solicitors Complaints Bureau to have Henning struck off, on the grounds that (among other things) he’d improperly briefed the media about Janner’s involvement in the Beck case.
Henning, who denied that allegation, was then arrested. His house was searched and several documents and items of evidence relating to Janner seized, never to be seen again.
It took ten months for police to announce that no charges would actually be filed against him. In the meantime, he won leave to seek a judicial review of the decision to ban him from doing legal work in police stations.
‘My arrest was a response by the Leicestershire Constabulary to bully, threaten and intimidate me into silence,’ he wrote in papers prepared for that case.
‘Why are the Leicestershire Constabulary so interested in the welfare of Greville Janner. Is he a client of the constabulary?’
A good question. But one that would, sadly, never be asked in court.
In May 1994, Frank Beck suffered a fatal heart attack at Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire, forcing his appeal to be abandoned.
To this day, many friends believe Beck was innocent, and Janner guilty — though others say there is ample evidence that both men were guilty, and were in fact accomplices.
Eighteen months later, Henning’s judicial review was also abandoned.
He, too, died suddenly and unexpectedly, in a road accident in December 1995, aged 57, before the case could be heard.
‘Ian never saw justice,’ his widow, Dee, told me this week. ‘He had absolutely no doubt of Janner’s involvement in paedophilia, and believed to the end that things had been covered up, and covered up far too easily.
‘We don’t know how many children suffered as a result of that cover up. But at least we are finally starting to see his crimes laid bare in print. Janner may never be prosecuted, but I think Ian would see that as the next best thing.’