The decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to bring charges against a suspected serial sex offender has been condemned as “wholly perverse” by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader.
Sir Clive said he believed an overwhelming case had been built during a two-year investigation by the Force to show that the man spent three decades sexually abusing children in Leicester care homes in “the most revolting and hideous” manner.
That man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have committed his catalogue of crimes whilst holding prominent public office.
But today, having had the file of evidence for nearly nine months, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided that it would “not be in the public interest” to bring charges against the man (who is now in his 80s).
Sir Clive said: “This decision is not just wrong – it is wholly perverse and is contrary to any notion of natural justice. I cannot believe that any right-minded person will understand or support it.
“For decades this man is alleged to have carried out premeditated, systematic sex crimes against young boys and one girl who were in the care of the local authority. He got away with it for all those years because his victims were frightened of him and of his position of authority.
“Thanks to the great courage of his victims, and the meticulous and painstaking work of detectives, Leicestershire Police built what the DPP herself accepts is a case firmly indicating multiple, very serious offenses involving a number of victims over a lengthy period of time. She also accepts that the victims were vulnerable, that they should have been looked after rather than abused, and that many of them have been seriously damaged.
“It therefore beggars belief that, despite that evidence, she does not believe it on balance to be in the interest of the victims, or of wider society, that this man faces justice.
“I, on the other hand, am absolutely clear that such a prosecution would have been firmly in the interests of the victims, who have suffered and continue to suffer terribly from the crimes committed against them when they were vulnerable young children. Indeed, it is not only their expressed wish to be heard and to be believed, but to see justice – in the best form available – done and for their offender to be brought to book.
“Moreover, it is in the wider interests of current and future generations that those who may contemplate such sexual crimes against the most vulnerable in society are left in no doubt that they will be hunted down and will face the strong likelihood of prosecution, such retribution having no ‘sell by date’. It is therefore ironic that the DPP herself, only in February last year, stressed that she “wanted potential victims of crime to know that it doesn’t matter how long ago a crime is alleged to have been committed, we [the CPS] will take it seriously and we will take the views of victims, or their families, into account when deciding if we should prosecute.” Perhaps even more ironically, she went on to say that “where the most serious offences are being alleged it is nearly always in the public interests to prosecute……” Here I can only agree with her, for it is only with this certainty that we can hope to protect our children and deter future offending of this nature.
“Since the Savile scandal, and the Alexis Jay report into the appalling crimes committed against children in Rotherham, there has rightly been a national determination to bring to justice those who committed historic crimes against children. The death of some offenders, notably Savile, robbed victims of justice. But the man we believe responsible for a catalogue of terrible abuse in Leicester for three decades remains alive, and neither his victims nor I can begin to understand how prosecution could be anything other than firmly in the public interest and the right course of action.
“It is for these reasons that, when I heard earlier this week that the DPP was likely to make this determination, I immediately wrote to the Home Secretary urging her to take whatever action she could to intervene, so perverse did I personally consider this decision to be.
“Sadly, this has not had the effect for which I had wished. Of note, statute gives me a legal responsibility to safeguard victims and witnesses and to champion their cause; that is what I have sought in this case, and it is most certainly what I will continue to do.
“Meanwhile, I have committed millions of pounds of investment to safeguard the most vulnerable in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland, and in particular to combat CSE. And, only last September, I commissioned a root and branch review going back 20 years to reassure myself and the public that nothing like Rotherham had ever happened, or been ‘swept under the carpet’, here. I would wish now to reassure all the people of this area that I will do all within my power, in concert with the Chief Constable, the Force and other partners, to play my part in safeguarding the most vulnerable in our society.
“In short, on behalf of the victims in this case and the wider population, I am dismayed and deeply disappointed by this lamentable decision; justice has, in my view, been fundamentally undermined.”