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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Greville Janner to be prosecuted for child sexual offences

29/06/2015

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders will now bring criminal proceedings against Greville Janner for child sex offences.

This follows a review of the case under the recently introduced CPS Victims' Right to Review scheme, which allows victims to have their cases looked at again, no matter who in the CPS made the original decision not to prosecute.

In the past year the scheme has meant that more than 200 prosecutions have been brought that would not have been brought otherwise.

In April this year the DPP decided that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute, meaning that, in her view, if there could be a full criminal trial a jury would be likely to convict Lord Janner. However, the DPP considered that it was not in the public interest to prosecute. This was because there was undisputed medical evidence that Greville Janner was not fit to stand trial which meant there could not be a full criminal trial and he could not therefore be found guilty of any offence and because he was not a danger to the public. It was also in light of the fact that the DPP sought assurances that the complainants would have the opportunity to give their account to the public inquiry led by Justice Goddard which has been set up to look at cases which may have been mis-handled in the past.

Without the compelling medical evidence the DPP has made clear that she would have brought a prosecution.

In May, six of the complainants in this case requested a formal Right to Review, and at the DPP's request, David Perry QC was instructed to provide advice to inform the CPS review of the decision.

The review concluded that it was in the public interest to bring proceedings before the court.

In reaching that conclusion, the review agreed that although there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, it is right to assume that Greville Janner will inevitably be found unfit to plead and therefore not fit to instruct his legal team and not fit to challenge or give evidence in a trial. Therefore the most likely outcome of a "trial of the facts" would be an absolute discharge, which is neither punishment nor conviction.

Alison Saunders said: "The Victims' Right to Review scheme has brought a much needed voice for victims of crime and this review shows that any decision can be reversed, no matter who has made it. It is a scheme I helped to bring in and it is a process I fully support and am not above. I requested a non-CPS lawyer to advise on this case so that the review would be seen as fully independent. That was the right thing to do, and was a decision I made in the interests of fairness and maintaining public confidence in the criminal justice system.

"I have always said that in my view this was an extremely difficult and borderline case because of the strong arguments on both sides. I have also always emphasised my concern for the complainants in this case. I understood their need to be heard, which is why I contacted Justice Goddard to ensure that they could give evidence as part of the public inquiry. However, the review has concluded that this forum, albeit a public one, cannot substitute for the adjudication of the courts. I accept the outcome of the review and will now be bringing this prosecution to allow for that adjudication to happen.

"The case is first listed at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 7 August 2015."

As there are now active criminal proceedings nothing should be said, commented on, or shared online which may prejudice those. It will be a matter for the court to consider if Greville Janner should appear or be excused on medical grounds from attending court.

The CPS has also received a draft of Sir Richard Henriques' report which the DPP commissioned on the handling and decision making in relation to previous allegations made against Greville Janner in 1991, 2002 and 2007. It is now being finalised, but it is clear that it will confirm the DPP's view that the CPS decisions in 1991 and 2007 were wrong as well as concluding that the handling of the case previously by both police and prosecutors was unsatisfactory.

The DPP, Alison Saunders, said: "It is a matter of real regret that prosecutions weren't brought by the police and CPS in the past.

"We have brought forward this decision as public speculation on this review has brought damaging and unacceptable uncertainty for the complainants in this case. We have now done what we can to inform the complainants of the outcome of the review and I have offered to meet each of them should they wish."

The DPP has demonstrated her personal commitment to tackling the sexual abuse of children - in 2014-15 the CPS brought more charges and delivered more convictions than ever before.

Notes:

Performance figures
  1. CPS data records all child abuse cases referred by the police. In 2014-15, the overall number of child abuse prosecutions (sexual and non-sexual) reached 10,045, an increase of 2,047 (25.6%) from 2013-14, the highest volume ever.
  2. Of these, the conviction volume rose to 7,469 in 2014-15 from 6,096 in 2013-14 - also the highest volume ever and a rise of 22.5%.
  3. Of all the child abuse cases, the prosecution and conviction volumes of sexual offences have also risen. Child abuse sexual offence prosecutions completed in 2014-15 rose from 4,371 to 5,387 - a rise of 23.2%.
  4. Successful outcomes for child sexual abuse (CSA) rose from 3,344 to 3,975 - a rise of 18.9%.
Charges
  1. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, on a day between 16th August 1987 and 19th August 1987 committed buggery with Complainant 1, a child under the age of 16 years (namely 15 years).
  2. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, between 21st June 1988 and 2nd August 1988 committed buggery with Complainant 1, a male person aged 16 years without his consent.
  3. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 16th August 1987 and 2nd August 1988 indecently assaulted Complainant 1, a boy aged under 16 years.
  4. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 21st June 1988 and 2nd August 1988 indecently assaulted Complainant 1, a male aged 16 years.
  5. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 13th March 1984 and 27th March 1984 indecently assaulted Complainant 2, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  6. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 27th March 1984 and 1st November 1984 indecently assaulted Complainant 2, a male aged 16 years.
  7. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 3rd July 1981 and 15th September 1981 indecently assaulted Complainant 3, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  8. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, on a day between 3rd July 1981 and 15th September 1981 committed buggery with Complainant 3, a child under the age of 16 years.
  9. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between the 10th October 1979 and the 7th December 1982 indecently assaulted Complainant 4, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  10. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, on a day between 22nd August 1985 and 20th September 1987 committed buggery with Complainant 5, a child under the age of 16 years.
  11. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, on a day between 22nd August 1985 and 20th September 1987 and on an occasion other than in charge 10 committed buggery with Complainant 5, a child under the age of 16 years.
  12. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 22nd August 1985 and 20th September 1987 indecently assaulted Complainant 5, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  13. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 22nd August 1985 and 20th September 1987 indecently assaulted Complainant 5, a boy under the age of 16 years
  14. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 21st November 1972 and 22nd December 1975 indecently assaulted Complainant 6, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  15. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 21st November 1972 and 22nd December 1975 indecently assaulted Complainant 6, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  16. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 21st November 1972 and 22nd December 1975 indecently assaulted Complainant 6, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  17. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, on a day between 21st November 1972 and 22nd December 1975 committed buggery with Complainant 6, a child under the age of 16 years.
  18. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 1st April 1985 and 1st April 1988 indecently assaulted Complainant 7, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  19. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 1st April 1985 and 1st April 1988 indecently assaulted Complainant 7, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  20. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 16th June 1963 and 9th October 1969 indecently assaulted Complainant 8, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  21. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Indecent Assault on a Male Person contrary to section 15(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner on a day between 10th October 1969 and 31st January 1970 indecently assaulted Complainant 8, a boy under the age of 16 years.
  22. STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
     Buggery contrary to section 12(1) Sexual Offences Act 1956.
     PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
     Lord Greville Janner, on a day between 24th August 1977 and 1st November 1978 committed buggery with Complainant 9.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2014 we employed a workforce of approximately 6237 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2226 prosecutors and 3629 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.