POLITICS

Lord Janner Dead: Former Labour MP Ruled Unfit To Stand Trial For String Of Sex Offences Dies

19/12/2015 18:00 GMT | Updated 19/12/2015 20:59 GMT

Greville Janner, the former Labour MP ruled unfit to stand trial for historic sex offences due to "irreversible" dementia, has died. Janner's family confirmed his death on Saturday. He was 87.

A family statement read: "Lord Janner died peacefully on Saturday, December 19 after a long illness. He will be deeply missed."

Earlier this month, a High Court judge ruled Janner was unfit to stand trial for a series of child sex abuse charges stretching back 50 years. A "trial of the facts" was scheduled for next April.

“The defendant has advanced and disabling dementia which is deteriorating and irreversible and I find he is unfit to plead and stand trial on his indictment,” Mr Justice Openshaw ruled. Janner was suspended from the Labour Party in April. His family remained adamant that the peer was "innocent of any wrongdoing."

The former MP, a campaigner for Jewish organisations, represented Leicester West in the Commons for 27 years between 1970 and 1997. Janner was charged with 22 sexual offences dating back to the 1960s against nine alleged victims, the majority of whom were 16 or under at the time.

"The passing of Greville Janner marks the end of an era for the Jewish community," Sir Mick Davis, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Janner family at this most difficult time."

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who had called for Janner to face justice, spoke following the announcement of the peer's death. "Obviously it is very sad for Lord Janner's family that he has passed away, though it is also extremely sad for his alleged victims," he said. "The CPS saying that the trial of the facts will not now go ahead will be very disappointing."

Danczuk had previously said the allegations against Janner "were some of the most horrific examples that I've heard."

"It is disappointing that all the evidence is not now to be brought before a court," he added. "It is a very sad day for justice."

Abuse lawyer Liz Dux, who represents several of Janner's alleged victims, said: "This is devastating news for my clients. They have waited so long to see this case come before the courts, to be denied justice at the final hurdle is deeply frustrating."

"Worse still is that so many opportunities to bring this matter to justice whilst he was well were missed," she added. "All they have ever wanted is to give their evidence in court and have these very serious allegations tested and to be believed."