Lord Janner 'should have been prosecuted 25 years ago'

Greville Janner in 1992
Image caption Greville Janner, photographed in 1992, was MP for Leicester West when he was interviewed by police in 1991

A senior police officer who interviewed Lord Janner 25 years ago about sex abuse allegations has blamed the Crown Prosecution Service for allowing him to escape justice.

Mick Creedon, now Derbyshire chief constable, said there was enough evidence to prosecute the MP in 1991.

He spoke following publication of an independent inquiry into allegations against Lord Janner.

The late peer's family deny the allegations.

Mr Creedon said: "It remains a simple and regrettable fact that Lord Janner should have been prosecuted 25 years ago.

"This report confirms that the reason he was not [prosecuted] was a direct decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and not by Leicestershire Constabulary."

Image copyright Derbyshire Constabulary
Image caption Mick Creedon, now chief constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, interviewed Lord Janner back in 1991

Mr Creedon was a detective sergeant with the Leicestershire force when he became aware of allegations against Lord Janner, who was then MP for Leicester West.

At the time, he was investigating a convicted sex offender called Frank Beck for abuse at children's homes in Leicestershire.

Mr Creedon and his colleague, Det Insp Kelvyn Ashby, interviewed the victim who is referred to in the inquiry report as Complainant 1.

Complainant 1 described being groomed by the MP and having sexual activity with him between the summer of 1974 and December 1975, when he was under 16 years of age and living in a children's home.

Image caption Frank Beck ran care homes before later being convicted of child abuse

Mr Creedon and Det Insp Ashby interviewed the MP under caution on 13 March 1991.

The MP's answer to every question was: "As advised by my solicitor, I do not wish to answer."

But despite this lack of cooperation, police obtained evidence that supported Complainant 1's account, including personal letters sent by Lord Janner.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lord Janner was sworn in as a QC at the House of Lords on 19 April 1971

BBC home affairs correspondent Jeremy Ball

Mick Creedon's intervention is significant because he's now one of the country's most experienced police chiefs. It matters after all these years, because reputations are at stake.

He's already given preliminary evidence to Justice Lowell Goddard's new Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. That inquiry's looking for "institutional failings".

Mr Creedon says he wanted to arrest Greville Janner in 1991, but he was ordered to interview the MP by appointment instead.

That meant Greville Janner's home wasn't searched. But Mick Creedon says he "believed the victim's account of abuse".

Sir Richard Henriques, the retired High Court judge who carried out the inquiry, wrote in his report that the "primary cause of failing to prosecute Janner in 1991 was, in my judgment, an inefficient investigation by police".

However, Sir Richard said there was still enough evidence against Lord Janner in December 1991 to provide "a realistic prospect of conviction", and concluded the decision not to charge him was wrong.

Mr Creedon accused the inquiry of unfairly blaming the police.

"I do not recall us receiving any requests for further investigative work from either counsel or the CPS," he said.

Who was Lord Janner?

Image copyright PA
  • Born in Cardiff in 1928
  • Served in the Army and studied at Cambridge before becoming a barrister and then QC
  • Labour MP for Leicester North West and then Leicester West from 1970 until retiring in 1997, when he was made a life peer
  • Served as president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
  • Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009
  • Suspended from the Labour Party in April
  • Ruled unfit to stand trial over allegations of child sexual abuse in December 2015
  • Died on 19 December, aged 87

More on this story