Tuesday, October 27, 2020

IICSA Janner hearings cast new light on abuse in Leicestershire children's homes

Abuse was rife in Leicestershire children's homes in the 1970s, but the powers that be have never been keen on public exposure of what went on.

The press had to go to court to be allowed to report the trial of Frank Beck, and the subsequent inquiry was conducted entirely in private.

A copy of the report of that inquiry was to be found on the county council website (as the result of a freedom of information request), but it seems to have disappeared.

But you can find a searchable copy of the report elsewhere on the web.

Because of this record of secrecy, there was a certain degree of cynicism expressed when it emerged that the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse would take most of its evidence on Lord Janner in private.

However, some evidence has been heard in public and something of interest has emerged.

BBC News reports:

On Monday, the inquiry heard that Ratcliffe Road children's home in Leicester burned all its records when a paedophile ex-employee was arrested.

Former senior policeman Mick Creedon, who ran the investigation, said he was "haunted" knowing runaways were sent to the home, described as a "hell-hole" and sexually abused.

That seems to me more significant than the stuff about Tony Blair and the honours system that leads the story.

Creedon also gave evidence about the investigation of possible offences by Lord Janner:

He also described being "disappointed" when refused permission to arrest MP Greville Janner.

The home was "immediately closed down" when they arrested a prime suspect, and a senior worker at the home "immediately burned all the files".

Mr Creedon said several people he spoke to for the investigation had killed themselves, and three former residents eventually said they were also abused by Lord Janner.

Mr Creedon told the inquiry he was refused permission to arrest the politician in the 1990s and instead of arresting the MP he was invited to Leicestershire Police's headquarters to be interviewed.

However, his home was not searched and he answered "no comment" to questions, so the case was dropped.

Mr Creedon denied going too easy on Lord Janner and said one account that questions were sent in advance "categorically didn't happen".

"I still think there was a justifiable case for his arrest," he said.

No comments: