Leicester children's home 'burned all its records,' enquiry hears

Leicester children’s home ‘burned all its records’ when paedophile ex-employee was arrested, inquiry hears – as it’s revealed Lord Janner was tipped for knighthood a YEAR after sex abuse claims emerged

  • Leicester children’s home was described as a ‘hell-hole’ at sex abuse enquiry
  • Enquiry is looking into sex abuse allegations relating to dead MP Greville Janner
  • Statement is due to be heard from former PM Tony Blair later this afternoon 
  • Lord Janner died in 2015 and always denied allegations relating to sexual abuse  

An enquiry into allegations of sexual abuse by dead Lord Janner heard a children’s home in Leicester burned all its records when a paedophile ex-employee was arrested, as it’s revealed the former Labour MP was tipped for a knighthood a year after sex abuse claims emerged

Former senior police officer Mick Creedon, who ran one of the country’s largest child abuse allegations during his time as a detective sergeant, said the worst abuse happened at Ratcliffe Road children’s home.

In 1991 then-MP Greville Janner was linked to the conviction of Frank Beck, an officer in charge of the children’s home who given five life sentences for child sex abuse.

Just a year later Lord Janner, who served as Leicester West’s MP from 1970 to 1997, was put forward for a knighthood, the enquiry heard today.

Lord Janner was subject to allegations of child sex abuse dating back to the 1950s, with three police investigations taking place in the 1990s and 2000s. But he was only charged after a fourth investigation in 2015.

Lord Janner was charged with child sex abuse offences in 2015 but was ruled unfit to plea through dementia. He died later that year before a trial of facts could be held

He was accused of carrying out abuse at children’s homes around Leicestershire.   

Three police investigations took place in the 1990s and 2000s, but no charges were brought.

Today’s enquiry heard Downing Street wrote to the Home Office in July 1992 saying it had received a recommendation that Janner be included in a future Honours list and that the Home Office appeared not to have concerns, despite the link to Beck. 

A letter from Downing Street said said the recommendation was ‘presumably for a knighthood to recognise his services to the Jewish community in Britain’, and canvassed the Home Office for its thoughts on the proposal.

Helen Ewen, from the Cabinet Office department involved in the Honours process, told the inquiry that the Home Office appeared ‘supportive’ of the recommendation but that Janner did not receive the honour.

She said: ‘The Home Office, I think, replied to indicate they had no objection, they found no adverse reason not to proceed, but no honour was given in the end.’

There was no evidence to suggest why the recommendation was not pursued, the inquiry heard.

It also heard how Janner’s name was included in a list of potential life peers put forward by Tony Blair, two months after becoming prime minister in 1997.

A fourth inquiry into Janner saw him charged in 2015 on offences related to nine victims. 

However the Labour peer was ruled unfit to plead through dementia and died aged 87 before a trial of the facts could be held. 

Former Labour peer Lord Janner was nominated for an honour just a year after he was linked to a paedophile who preyed on children’s homes around Leicestershire

Police say up to 40 people accused Lord Janner of abuse.  

Speaking at today’s inquiry, Mr Creedon said Ratcliffe Road immediately shut down when a prime suspect was arrested in relation to child abuse at the children’s home.

He said a senior member of staff at the home ‘immediately burned all the files,’ the BBC reports. 

Mr Creedon said he was haunted by the fact that several people at the home who had spoken to him later took their own lives.

He described the home as a ‘hell-hole,’ saying that ‘children would sit in a circle, waiting to see who’d be taken out next’. 

The home was run by Leicestershire County Council.

Retired police officer Mick Creedon told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse a Leicester care home was a ‘hell-hole,’ adding that ‘children would sit in a circle, waiting to see who’d be taken out next’

In 1991 Frank Beck, the officer in charge of a number of children’s home in the area, was sentenced to five life sentences following allegations of abuse spanning between 1974 and 1986. 

A statement from Mr Blair is due to be read in a behind-closed-doors hearing on Tuesday afternoon, meaning he cannot be questioned on his evidence.

The latest strand of the wide-ranging inquiry is due to conclude on Friday after three weeks of evidence about how the police, prosecutors and care home staff responded to historic allegations that Lord Janner abused vulnerable children.

Lord Janner, who had Alzheimer’s, died in 2015 under suspicion of 22 counts of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s, which he denied.

A report in 2016 found that failures by police and prosecutors meant three chances were missed to charge him over the allegations, in 1991, 2002 and 2007.

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