Day 7 of Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry: three witnesses from Leicestershire county council...

John Sinnott, chief executive, due to begin at 10.30am in open session before going behind closed doors.

Then Robert Parker and Brian Waller – each behind closed doors.
John Sinnott, chief executive of Leicestershire county council since 1994, is first witness to testify in open (at least, partly) in FIVE days of Janner hearings at #CSAinquiry.
John Sinnott accepts that in the past there was no oversight by senior managers at Leicestershire county council’s social services department of complaints of sexual or physical abuse of children in the council’s “care” homes.
John Sinnott continues on failure to address complaints of sexual or physical abuse of children in the council’s “care” homes: “Complaints were simply not listened to.”

Senior managers did not “take a grip of a problem.”
John Sinnott says that Leicestershire county council in the past (up to around 1990), so far as he could see from the documentation, allowed adult visitors or “befrienders” to access “care” homes to visit children.
John Sinnott says that there was no proper vetting system at Leicestershire county council’s “care” homes to vet these “befrienders”.
John Sinnott explains that since 1991 Leicestershire county council has run a system of “independent visitors”, who are vetted and supervised, for each child in its “care” homes.

For example, these visitors should never take a child home – unlike in the past.
John Sinnott explains that practices and policies for Leicestershire’s “care” homes have been totally overhauled since 1991.
John Sinnott’s evidence in the open, lasting around half-an-hour, is largely taken up with reassuring the public that it is all very different now, before continuing to give evidence about more interesting matters behind closed doors.
John Sinnott has supplied a 130-page statement to Janner investigation of #CSAinquiry, but we barely dipped into it for the short session of his open testimony before going in camera.
This afternoon, Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry due to hear from two more witnesses from Leicestershire county council: Robert Parker and Brian Waller – behind closed doors.

They were “driving forces” behind reforms of county’s children’s homes in wake of Frank Beck case.
Returning to John Sinnott’s testimony this morning behind closed doors, Leicestershire county council has already told #CSAinquiry that it DID have knowledge about then Labour MP Greville Janner’s association with a child in one of its “care” homes.
Leicestershire county council has already told #CSAinquiry that “a number of LCC employees were concerned about the association [between Greville Janner and a child in one of its homes], and there is evidence that they raised these concerns with senior management.”
Leicestershire county council “accepts that it failed to take adequate steps in response to those concerns,” it has told #CSAinquiry.

We can be sure that John Sinnott would have confirmed all this, if asked at closed session this am, matters that are already on public record.
Robert Parker, according to Leicestershire county council, established the “Children’s Rights Service” at the local authority, one of the first in UK to adopt it, seeking to ensure that the child’s voice is at the centre of children’s services. He is testifying in closed session.
Brian Waller, Leicestershire's ex-director of social services, also speaking behind closed doors this pm, said in 1993: “Residential care has been a Cinderella service for more than two decades. It has become a backwater which is used as a last resort when everything else fails.”
Brian Waller said in 1995 that cases of alleged child abuse in Islington “demonstrates once again our ambivalence about the protection of children.”
Brian Waller is on record as saying: “As a result of the extensive investigations carried out by the police in [Frank Beck] case, we were presented with concerns – falling short of evidence that would justify criminal proceedings – about some 30 [former] members of staff...”
“With the advice of our lawyers and in consultation with the police, I wrote to every social service authority in the country with a list of names to advise them to check their files and to offer to share information that had arisen during the investigation,” Brian Waller, 1995.
Brian Waller added: “I can report that a number of other local authorities have taken up the offer of information. I have not been sued by any ex-employees.”

He wrote about this in 1995 and, no doubt, testified about this behind closed doors this afternoon at #CSAinquiry.
“Summary” by #CSAinquiry of evidence in closed session for Day 7 records that John Sinnott, chief executive of Leicestershire county council since 1994, set out the authority’s knowledge of contact between Greville Janner MP and a complainant of child sexual abuse...
But “summary” by #CSAinquiry of evidence in closed session does not go on to provide even the slightest detail of Leicestershire county council’s knowledge of contact between Greville Janner MP and a complainant of child sexual abuse. #SecretCSAinquiry
John Sinnott said that evidence from the time suggested that Leicestershire’s then director of social services was aware of contact between Greville Janner MP and children, but not that she knew of any allegations of sexual abuse – “summary” by #CSAinquiry of closed session.
Leicestershire county council did not investigate allegations against Greville Janner MP, John Sinnott said, according to #CSAinquiry “summary” of closed session.

Senior officers viewed it as a matter for police, but the authority “certainly” should have investigated, he added.
John Sinnott, chief executive of Leicestershire county council, regretted that it did not take steps to investigate Greville Janner MP or to notify other child protection agencies, says #CSAinquiry “summary” of his testimony behind closed doors this afternoon.
“Summary” by #CSAinquiry of closed session for Day 7 says that an unnamed former senior manager at Leicestershire county council – but who was identified in published timetable as Robert Parker – said that taking any action against Greville Janner would have been “controversial”.
Robert Parker: there would have been “more caution” about reporting a person of prominence, according to #CSAinquiry “summary” of closed session.

He recalled a colleague’s comment that Greville Janner had “very powerful solicitors and he would not hesitate to employ them…”
Robert Parker accepted that this comment suggested that officials were hesitant about making a complaint against a person such as Greville Janner “as opposed to the man next door”, according to #CSAinquiry “summary” of his testimony behind closed doors.
Robert Parker: a group of ex-residents of Leicestershire children’s homes approached County Hall in 1993 with a journalist from Leicester Mercury to raise concerns about their time in care and Greville Janner MP.
“Summary” by #CSAinquiry of closed session for Day 7 of Janner hearings: an unnamed former Leicestershire director of social services – but who was identified in published timetable as Brian Waller – said that he took over from a predecessor a “dysfunctional” department.
Brian Waller said that he set up a special division called, Children’s Services, appointing an officer to head it, according to #CSAinquiry “summary” of evidence behind closed doors.

He also introduced, from 1994, a complaints procedure for children who wanted to complain.
Brian Waller: if there had been a complaints policy for years before 1994, “children would have been listened to, there would have been action taken and we would have gone to the police,” according to #CSAinquiry “summary” of closed session.

Linked here:…
Note: John Sinnott’s statement is long, but not quite as long as I stated in a tweet on his testimony in open session this morning.

I heard counsel refer to a “130-page statement”, but the transcript shows that she said that it was only 113 pages.

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21 Oct
Day 8 of Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry: three officers who worked on ‘Operation Magnolia’, Leicestershire Police’s investigation into Lord Janner between 2000 and 2002...

James Wynne, Kevin Yates, Richard Keenan.

Each witness partly in open – and partly in closed – session.
Junior counsel to #CSAinquiry says that Kevin Yates has been taken ill is unfit to give evidence today. He will be rescheduled for next Wednesday.

We are hearing from James Wynne, initially in open session.
James Wynne was a detective sergeant during ‘Operation Magnolia’, which ran from 2000 to 2002, investigating allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children at two Leicestershire children’s homes, including allegations against Lord Janner.
Read 40 tweets
19 Oct
Day 6 of Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry behind closed doors ALL DAY again for fourth day in a row:

James Coussey of CPS, Jeremy Naunton also of CPS, and evidence read from the late Barbara Fitt, manager of a children’s home in Leicester, and her widower, Ray.
James Coussey, retired senior prosecutor, made the newspapers in 1986 when he had to placate a furious magistrate who threatened to free a man on a murder charge because of prosecution blunders by DPP office.

Nothing compared to prosecution blunders over Greville Janner MP.
Jeremy Naunton, senior lawyer for DPP then CPS, faces qus this pm – behind closed doors – as to why Greville Janner, then Labour MP, was not prosecuted in 1991. Just as he had to explain why Peter Hayman was not prosecuted in 1978, as revealed @FOIACentre:…
Read 19 tweets
16 Oct
Day 5 of Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry behind closed doors ALL DAY again for third day in a row:

Peter Joyce, prosecutor in Frank Beck’s trial;

Iain Groundwell, retired from CPS;

Reading statement by the late Peter Hollingworth, former chief prosecutor for Leicestershire.
Peter Joyce was prosecuting counsel in Frank Beck’s trial in 1991.

At the request of police, he advised how to deal with allegations that arose at the time against Greville Janner, then Labour MP.

He is giving evidence in closed session at #CSAinquiry.

Peter Joyce made a late, successful application to become a “core participant” in #CSAinquiry investigation re Greville Janner after inquiry sent him a “detailed request” in May for a statement...
Read 25 tweets
15 Oct
Day 4 of Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry behind closed doors ALL DAY again:

Tony Butler, senior Leicestershire Police officer who oversaw investigation into Frank Beck in 1991 in which allegations against Greville Janner MP arose. And Mark Williams of CPS.

After I highlighted how #CSAinquiry had been seeking to keep secret even the operational name of the police investigation into Frank Beck, and then, Greville Janner MP in 1991, it has finally made public what it was called: Operation Intern.
Tony Butler was Leicestershire’s assistant chief constable when he oversaw Operation Intern, inv into Frank Beck and then Greville Janner MP. He later became deputy chief constable and has since retired. He is giving evidence behind closed doors at #CSAinquiry. #SecretCSAinquiry
Read 19 tweets
14 Oct
Day 3 of Janner hearings of #CSAinquiry behind closed doors ALL DAY: three Leicestershire officers who were on first police probe into Labour MP Greville Janner in 1991 as part of Frank Beck case... DCI Kelvyn Ashby, Ch Supt Graham Carr, Det Supt Tim Garner.

DCI Kelvyn Ashby was SIO on police probe into Frank Beck, who ran a Leicestershire children’s home.

He investigated allegations against Greville Janner, then a Labour MP, in 1991 as part of that case.

He is giving evidence behind closed doors at #CSAinquiry. #SecretCSAinquiry
Police in this first probe into Greville Janner passed a file to the CPS, which decided against pressing any charge against the then MP.

Janner was named as an abuser by a witness at Frank Beck’s trial.

Janner denied the claims in Parliament. Many MPs spoke in his support.
Read 32 tweets
13 Oct
WOW: in New York, a federal judge in New York has just asked Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer whether his client denied knowledge of sexual activity involving children in her deposition in a libel action brought by Virginia Guiffre Roberts.

Her lawyer declined to answer.
Ghislaine Maxwell is appealing right now to judges at US Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit to STOP the unsealing of her deposition about her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein in the libel action.

Other material has already been unsealed.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s counsel says that he is “hestitating” to answer the judge’s question because it would disclose material from a deposition that is currently sealed.

Judge accepts this.

Maxwell’s lawyer accepts that deposition covers “intimate sexual matters” with adults.
Read 7 tweets

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