Alzheimer’s: When prosecution of child sexual abuse is unable continue due developing Alzheimer’s

Before I start, I must state that this is my opinion only.

Lord Greville Janner has allegations going back to the 70’s for child sexual abuse when he was an MP in Leicestershire, UK.   It is said he befriended manager(s) of children(s) homes for access to young children.    I remember one case in particular regarding a children’s home in a small town where I used to live.   A friend of mine worked there and gave evidence during the court cases when it was first investigated.

Greville Janner’s name was mentioned way back and I am not going to go into details because you can read the facts in the news today the evidence regarding whether he was involved in child sexual abuse, and the failure of the CPS to bring him to court on several occasions.

The Crown Prosecution Service has deemed him unfit to bring to prosecution because he is living with Alzheimer’s disease.   So the case will not go any further meaning those adults who are living with the heritage of being a victim of sexual abuse at one of these children’s homes will never be able to see justice.

This is a very emotive subject, but one I think that is important.  Without the recognition of a court judgement, will these people feel betrayed by the justice system?

Lord Janner may be unfit but if there is a case for prosecution, surely he should lose his title?  As a Lord he remains to sit in the house of Lords, Alzheimer’s or not.

Surely having Alzheimer’s does not absolve someone of previous crimes committed against people, unless they are not able to mentally distinguish right or wrong at the time of the crime.

Is it right to let them off?  Should they still be prosecuted even if they are unable to serve a sentence.  For the survivors of the abuse it would mean a public acknowledgement of this man’s crime towards them.

I feel very strongly about supporting survivors of any crime, because they need our support in a world where justice may seem very cruel at times.

My personal view is that yes – he should be prosecuted because I refuse to believe that his memory of his whole life in the 1970’s and 80’s has been forgotten.   I can also see on the other hand that this would also be very difficult to do.

This is not an easy debate to have but one which I feel must come.

Author: Gill

I read books and review them. Books are my escape. I have always loved books. I write a blog, I get involved where and when I can in things I feel that are important. I also have Alzheimer's Disease but it does not define who I am. I am in the early stages so you may not notice. So, I will tell you how it is.

14 thoughts on “Alzheimer’s: When prosecution of child sexual abuse is unable continue due developing Alzheimer’s”

  1. Good heavens this is a sticky one! There has to be some sort of something done for those victims and I agree with you why should he remain a Lord. If nothing else strip him of that as long as he will be able to get the care he needs for his AD. This is so complicated it makes my head hurt!

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    1. I think the debate is just starting by the follow up in the news and rightly so. He has an office in the House of Lords indicating he is very much active in the role of shaping laws in this country so I am not sure he is at the stage of requiring comprehensive care for his dementia yet. I am sure that he will be in the position to afford the best he can when the time comes. You are so right in saying this is so complicated, the law is the law and says you must be fit to stand, but should that mean you are able to get away with the heinous crimes that have destroyed peoples lives in their childhood? At what level of dementia are you no longer deemed fit? Oh I can see this opening up new debates that will challenge what can be done in future.

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      1. If he is still active in the House of Lords then to me that smacks of a certain amount of competency. If you can serve the government still then you can be fully held responsible for your crimes. You can’t have one and not the other. You’re either competent for both or if not then you shouldn’t be with either.

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  2. You are right about it not being an easy debate. I supose they can’t strip him of his peerage because unless he is found guilty in court he is innocent – and he can’t be found guilty in court because they will not continue with the prosecution because of his dementia. In the meantime, the victims are left without any recourse to justice. It does need to be discussed fully and openly and not swept under the carpet but I don’t have any answers as to how that might happen.

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    1. This is true Mary, but if he is fit enough to use his peerage to sit actively in the House of Lords then he should be deemed fit enough to stand trial. Interesting that he is deemed fit enough to play an important part in making the laws of the UK!

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  3. A very difficult topic. And certainly one where it would be easy to ‘sit on the fence’ unable to form/give an opinion either way.

    I believe all perpetrators of crime, should be held accountable in some way, preferably that which is appropriate to the crime and circumstances at the time of the act(s). And in this case, having Alzheimers at the current time, does not mean they can’t be punished for past deeds. Certainly stripping him of his Lordship and right to sit in the house of Lords at least gives the victims some sense of action by the Justice System, if not release from the psychological damage which they will endure for the rest of their lives.

    Because a perpetrator doesn’t remember committing a crime doesn’t mean he/she didn’t do it. No action, in my opinion, only condones the crime in the eyes of the general public…….surely.

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    1. I get the feeling Vicki that this man would definitely have memory of that time however faded. If he is still sitting in the House of Lords where he has an office, and is still active in the House of Lords then in my opinion he IS FIT enough to go to trial. Maybe instead of a jury a panel of judges should preside in this case.

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  4. Oh, I see, Gill 😀

    I misunderstood.

    If he is definitely STILL sitting in the House, then he is still cognitive enough (to understand punishment). When you mentioned, as a Lord he remains to sit in the House, I thought you might mean he is ENTITLED TO (if he wants to), not necessarily that he DOES sit in the House at the current time.

    Yep, ‘off with his head’ (sorry, that phrase just jumped into my head at this very instant).

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  5. Something must certainly be done to allow the victims to have their say and the chance to be believed – otherwise it’s like the Jimmy Saville case when it was all brushed under the carpet for years..

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  6. Just read today that there were three police investigations between 1991 and 2007 and the former Director of Public Prosecutions said it was a serious failing he was not informed of the 2007 investigation. He certainly couldn’t have used dementia to wriggle out of it then.
    The father of a young woman with mental health problems said his daughter’s mental health was not taken into consideration when it was decided to prosecute her for an alleged rape claim. She killed herself days before the court case.
    And yes, it also says the alleged victims are considering legal action.
    I don’t think this will be swept away.

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