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Peer finally faces court on 22 child sex abuse charges

By Nina Massey

Published 15/08/2015

Lord Janner arrives back at home in London with his daughter after appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday
Lord Janner arrives back at home in London with his daughter after appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday

Lord Janner has appeared in court in person for the first time over 22 historic child sex abuse charges.

The peer's attendance at Westminster Magistrates Court lasted 59 seconds and comes after numerous attempts by his defence lawyers to avoid him having to turn up.

Dressed in a soiled green cardigan, blue T-shirt and navy trousers, and using a walking stick, he entered the courtroom saying: "Oooh, this is wonderful."

He sat at a desk near the entrance used for vulnerable witnesses and looked around before being asked if he was Lord Janner. He replied: "Yes."

The peer was escorted into the courtroom by a minder and his daughter.

Calling him "daddy", she said: "We're going to go home and have an ice cream."

All three then left the courtroom through the internal exit, avoiding the public section of the building. Janner was released on unconditional bail with the next hearing to be held at Southwark Crown Court on September 1.

He was forced to attend the hearing after two senior judges ruled that an appearance by the 87-year-old Labour peer and former MP must take place because of "the obvious and strong public interest in ensuring those summoned to court attend when required".

Two senior judges said the public interest outweighed any personal distress that might be caused to Janner, who faces child abuse charges spanning a period from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Janner, of Muswell Hill, north London, is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine complainants.

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