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Severe dementia won't stop Janner hearing

By David Wilcock

Lord Janner has been ordered to appear in court in person over child sex charges after a judge ruled his severe dementia should not prevent him standing in the dock.

Lawyers for the former Labour peer and MP said he was too ill to attend court in London yesterday for a first hearing in the case and argued he may suffer a "catastrophic reaction" if made to appear in future.

But Senior District Judge Howard Riddle, the Chief Magistrate, ruled that Janner, who faces 22 charges spanning a period from the 1960s to the 1980s, did not have to understand or play a part in the initial hearing but was required by law to attend.

Judge Riddle adjourned the hearing to August 14, when Janner will have to attend, he said.

He asked lawyers to investigate alternatives to Westminster Magistrates' Court, where it is due to take place, to reduce the "distress" caused.

It was even suggested the case could be heard at the 87-year-old's home or a nearby building.

The judge heard evidence from two defence psychiatrists who said Janner was too ill to appear.

The peer's family strongly denies claims he used his power as an MP for Leicester to abuse vulnerable young boys at a local children's home.

Belfast Telegraph


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