Statement: Greville Janner has been at it for years; Met has file on him for abusing kids
By Alex Varley-Winter | 27 June 2015
Detectives talked freely about child sex abuse by then Labour MP Greville Janner to a former police officer, according to an explosive statement.
Exaro today publishes details of what they said, as cited in extracts from the statement, which was drawn up by the former officer, Ian Henning. He had 18 years’ service at Scotland Yard before becoming a legal clerk.
Henning was part of the legal team for Frank Beck, a warden for children’s homes in Leicestershire, who was convicted of 17 counts of sexual abuse of children in his care. The ex-officer was working on the case as a legal clerk for a law firm in Leicester, Greene D’Sa.
“They had investigated the allegations and found witnesses to corroborate the story” – Statement of Ian Henning, legal clerk and former police officer
But in the extracts below, Henning details extraordinary comments made to him by detectives who believed that they had the evidence to pursue Janner over child sex abuse. Greville, now Lord, Janner, was a serving MP in Leicester at the time.
Henning believed that Beck was a scapegoat for Janner, although there was overwhelming evidence that the manager of children’s homes in Leicestershire was guilty on multiple counts of child sex abuse.
Detectives had a detailed statement from one boy on how Janner sexually abused him, and they were convinced of his credibility. Among the supporting evidence for a case against Janner were letters that the then MP had written to the boy.
Detective Inspector Kelvyn Ashby led the investigation into Beck, while Detective Sergeant Mick Creedon assisted.
And, according to Henning’s statement, the two detectives also investigated Janner diligently.
Both detectives have gone on the record in the past few months to say that there was enough evidence to arrest Janner on suspicion of child sex abuse to progress the investigation, but that they were blocked from doing so.
Ashby, who left the police in 2002, said: “Someone higher up told us that we could not just arrest an MP and it went no further.”
They were told by “someone senior”, he said. “But the order had to have come from the very top. I am sure my bosses’ hands were tied.”
Creedon, who went on to become chief constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, also said last September that they were blocked from arresting Janner over child sex abuse despite having “credible evidence”.
He said: “The decision was a clear one. He will be interviewed by appointment, and there will not be a search of his home address, or his constituency office, or his office in the House of Commons.”
Henning gives an account of how the two officers told him at the time that Janner and the then chief constable, the late Michael Hirst, were “close personal friends”. In other documents, Henning said that Janner and Hirst were fellow freemasons.
The extracts from Henning’s statement below are exactly as they were written, with some redactions or additions by Exaro in square brackets:
During my enquiries I was approached by a number of witnesses prepared to give evidence on behalf of Franck Beck.
On the 9th January 1991 I had a conference with one of these witnesses, [witness 3] at his home address. He told me that he was sexually abused by a member of staff, who had since died, when he was a 15 year old boy ‘In Care’ with the Leicestershire Social Services, at the Ratcliffe Road Childrens Home.
He told me that he was abused when he was 14 years old and living at another Leicestershire Social Services Childrens Home, known as Station Road, Wigston, by the officer in charge, who has since died and by Greville Janner MP.QC. the MP for Leicester West, although the childrens home where they would regularly contact each other, was not in his constituency.
The witness told me, it was Frank Beck who stopped the sexual abuse by the Officer in Charge and Greville Janner, rescued him from their clutches and straightened out his life.
The witness produced a photograph of himself with Janner and numerous letters written to him by Greville Janner some on House of Commons headed paper and envelopes. A number of the letters confirmed some of the details given to me by the witness.
I took the view that this witness would be valuable to the Defence to demonstrate that Frank Beck was not the type of person being portrayed to the media by the police, but a person who would stop abuse of children.
I also encouraged the witness to report the matter to the police as the allegations were of a most serious nature and I made arrangements for the interviews that followed at Wigston Police Station, Leicester, on 29th January 1991 and West End Police Station, Edinburgh, on 2nd July 1991.
On 16th January 1991, [name redacted], a close friend of Becks, who attended every remand hearing showing support for Beck, was arrested. He told me that the arresting officers told him, that provided he gave them the ‘Greville Janner’ letters, they would “Not tear his house to bits”. [Beck’s friend] told them that he did not have the letters. [Beck’s friend] had previously supplied photocopies of some of Janners letters to officers investigating Beck.
On 29th January 1991 I attended Wigston Police Station at the request of [witness 3] where he made a statement alleging that he was sexually abused by Greville Janner.
It was during this interview that I saw that police were in possession of [witness 3’s] Social Service File. [Witness 3] told me that when he examined his own file, he noticed that there was no mention of Janner in the file and the ‘Befriender Record’ was missing.
I pointed out to Detective Sergeant Creedon that I had been told that Social Service File did not exist and yet I could see one. Creedon told me that the files at County Hall were in a mess.
In early February 1991, I received information that files relating to the children who had attended the Beeches Childrens Home during the ‘Beck era’, had been taken by the gardener to County Hall, where a Council employee named [redacted] had shredded them.
On 6th February 1991 I attended Wigston Police Station with Frank Beck, where he made a witness statement detailing his counselling of [witness 3] and his contact with Greville Janner.
On 7th February 1991, at the request of [witness 3] who told me that he had fully discussed the matter with his wife, I took Detective Inspector Ashby and Detective Sergeant Creedon to the home address of [witness 3], where he made a further statement alleging buggery against Janner.
On 23rd February 1991 I received a letter from CPS in response to my letters to [redacted] dated 14.11.1990, 15.11.1990, 19.12.1990 and 20.12.1990, stating that the Social Services Files on each complainant were no longer in existance [sic].
On 27th February 1991 during a remand hearing, Beck publically [sic] named Janner as an abuser of children ‘In Care’ of the Social Services and accused [Leicestershire Constabulary] of attempting to ‘Cover Up’ the evidence.
As I stood outside the courtroom talking to [Beck’s friend], I was approached by Ashby and Creedon who told us that it was their intention to arrest Greville Janner the following day, but because of Becks outburst, they would not be able to, as Janner would destroy any evidence.
On 28th February 1991 after the ‘Sport’ newspaper repeated Becks allegations and the media began showing interest in the case. the witness, [witness 3] was approached on two occasions by people who… warned of the consequencies [sic] for the witness, his wife and three young children if he attended any court hearing.
I assisted the witness to report these threats to the South Yorkshire and Leicestershire Constabularies, as it was a deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice and frightened [witness 3] and his family.
During a telephone conversation with Detective Sergeant Creedon, he told me that he had written to the Local Housing Authority requesting that they move [witness 3] to a new address because of the threats made against him and his family and not to release details of the move to anyone, even to a Member of Parliament.
Initially, when representing Frank Beck, I found that as I went about my normal daily work, I was continually being approached by various interested parties questioning what lines of enquiry I was making.
No group displayed more interest than police officers, who I met on a daily basis at different police stations in Leicestershire, they appeared dismayed when they realised that I had never heard of Greville Janner, and on more than one occasion police officers have said “You must be the only bloke in Leicester who doesn’t know what he gets up to”.
I would explain to officers that not coming from Leicester and working abroad for the past few years, Janner’s name meant nothing to me.
Officers were eager to aquaint [sic] me with their knowledge of Greville Janner and his association with the Chief Constable adding “Why do you think he keeps standing up in Parliament asking for more money for Leicestershire Constabulary, no other Leicester MP does”.
Police Officers would be challenging and vociferous in making remarks such as “Oh, it’s well known” – “I’ve known about him for years” – “We’ve (Police) known about Janner and young boys for ages” – “You must be the only person in Leicester who doesn’t know” – “Janner has been at it for years” – “Janner and the Chief Constable are close personal friends” – “Scotland Yard have got a file on him for abusing kids in Notting Hill” – “Strings are being pulled up above” – “Find out about Janner’s activities with young rent boys at Agar Nook in Coalville [in Leicestershire]” and I believe that officers mentioned Rochdale Crescent or Avenue.
One remark repeatedly made to me by numerous police officers whilst referring to Janner was “Your [sic] in Leicester now and anything to do with Greville Janner will be covered up”
Whilst preparing the defence case, I spoke on numerous occasions to the two lead detectives, Detective Sergeant Creedon and later Detective Inspector Ashby. Both men told me that they believed [witness 3], to quote both officers “The details are too specific to be untrue”. They had investigated the allegations and found witnesses to corroborate the story.
Both officers told me that they had more than enough evidence to arrest Greville Janner, but were being prevented from doing so by higher ranking officers of the Leicestershire Constabulary.
During numerous telephone conversations, Detective Sergeant Creedon told me that their investigations had revealed the following;
(A) Barbara Fitt, the Officer in Charge of the Station Road Childrens Home [who died in 1991], remembered the witness receiving letters on House of Commons notepaper from Janner and to allowing the witness to use her office for privacy, whenever Janner telephone the home, requesting to speak to the boy, usually twice a week.
(B) She remembered the boy receiving railway tickets from Janner and travelling to London to spend weekends at his house.
(C) She remembered the time Janner telephoned her, furious because the boy had stolen money from him whilst they were on holiday together in Scotland, she supervised the boy repaying the money.
(E) The police had traced a witness who worked at the Leicester Holiday Inn, who remembered the management closing the swimming pool to hotel guests, allowing Janner to swim in the pool with a young boy.
(F) Although Janner had sold his house at Linnell Gardens or Road, Golders Green, London. When police visited the house, the present owners allowed them to look around and the layout of the rooms were [sic] exactly as the witness had described.
(G) When interviewed by police, the witness described visiting a friend of Janners who lived about 10 minutes away from Janners house. The friends daughter was about to be married, so whilst the friend left the house for a short while, Janner forced the boy into mutual masturbation whilst laying by the swimming pool. Creedon told me that police had found the house and the details checked out. A photograph of the wedding of the friend’s daughter showed the boy with Janner.
(H) Detective Sergeant Creedon told me that he believed that Janner had buggered at least two other children ‘In Care’ of the Social Services stating “If you find out who they are will you let me know?, I am unable to come up with any names”.
(I) All mention of Greville Janner had been removed from the boys Social Services file. The ‘Befriender’ record, which regulations require be affixed to the inside of the front cover of all Social Service Files, detailing any period a child spends away from the Childrens Home with a ‘Befriender’, was missing.
On 14th March 1991, as a result of intense media attention by the press, by arrangement with senior police officers, Greville Janner attended Enderby, Force headquarters of the Leicestershire Constabulary with his solicitor Sir David Napley.
Detective Sergeant Creedon telephoned me to tell me that he was not allowed to arrest Janner on orders from a higher ranked officer, but to hand to his solicitor a list of questions police would like Janner to answer. The list would be taken back to London, the questions answered and the document returned to police within 3 weeks. The document took nearly 5 weeks to be returned.
This action is an obvious breach of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act as all other suspects real or imagined in this investigation, were taken to an authorised police station, in this case Wigston, where the ‘Beck’ squad were centred. Enderby is not an authorized police station, but the force’s administrative headquarters only.
During June 1991 Oliver D’SA told me that he had received telephone calls from Detective Superintendent [name redacted] of the Leicestershire Constabulary, asking if I had any letters that implicated Greville Janner in any way with [witness 3]. I told Mr D’SA that the investigating officers already had photocopies of the letters.
During July 1991 Peter Joyce QC informed the Defence that officers of the Leicestershire Constabulary had sought his advice in relation to them obtaining a search warrant to search my property for ‘Stolen Documents’. My Joyce had advised against the plan.
It was at this stage that the earlier warning from police officers that a cover up would occur, made me realise that senior officers were in the process of attempting to pervert the course of justice, by manufacturing a case against myself. I knew I had never been in possession of any stolen documents and that information needed for the police to obtain a search warrant, must be false.
These latest disclosures come after Exaro revealed last week that the Crown Prosecution Service refused to tell the Metropolitan Police Service whether it had enough evidence to charge Lord Brittan, former home secretary, with raping a young woman in 1967.
The woman, known only as “Jane” to protect her identity, wrote a piece for Exaro that outlined her frustration with the outcome of the police investigation after building up the courage to report her complaint of rape against Brittan.
Additional research by Matthew Gilley and Samuel Osborne.
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