Lord Janner: Contempt Of Court.


On Monday 29th June the CPS announced that on the previous Saturday 27th June Lord Janner had been charged with 22 counts of Buggery and Indecent Assault against 9 different male complainants who were all minors at the time the offences were alleged to have taken place.

On 7th August at Westminster Magistrates’ Court Lord Janner, or more likely his legal representatives, are due to appear and the judicial process will be under way.

The most likely first legal challenge Lord Janner’s representatives will attempt will be to claim that due to months of adverse and prominent publicity in the MSM (and years in the AM) their client would be unlikely to receive a fair trial and so the charges should be dropped. However, David Perry QC would have taken into consideration the possibility that such a legal appeal would be made when he overturned the original decision of the DPP not to charge Lord Janner due to his health and so I doubt such a legal gambit would be successful.

What is less certain is whether some material that might be published following the CPS decision to charge Lord Janner might be considered prejudicial to a fair trial. Regardless, what is without doubt is that anyone who does publish potentially prejudicial material could find themselves in contempt of court which can carry a 2 year prison sentence if found guilty.

The CPS statement was clear;

“As there are now active criminal proceedings nothing should be said, commented on, or shared online which may prejudice those.”

CPS Blog

This covers comments on Twitter, Facebook, Forums, and comments left on blogs like The Needle.  When you leave a comment you are the publisher and you are responsible.

This case has become unusually complicated primarily due to the publicity that followed the original decision by the DPP not to prosecute Lord Janner. When this decision was taken broadcast, print, and online media could publish allegations and speculations on this case after considering the risks of civil litigation but free from the threat of criminal proceedings. This has now changed.

Professional journalists have rudimentary legal training and if part of a media organisation, access to legal advice. The chances are that you do not and some of the issues like for example, past CPS and police failures related to this case that you were free to speculate about before charging might be considered prejudicial now.

I will be taking an extremely cautious approach to allowing comments on The Needle regarding the Janner case from this point onward.

Lord Janner’s legal representatives will no doubt be scanning the internet looking for examples of prejudicial comments online that they’d hope to use to demonstrate that Lord Janner can not receive a fair hearing.

Whether you’re leaving a comment on Twitter or on a forum please think carefully before doing so and ask yourself this; even if you are willing to risk contempt of court proceedings and a possible 2 year prison sentence, do you want to be the cause of this case failing to proceed ?


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

25 responses to “Lord Janner: Contempt Of Court.

  1. Quite right. But it took a lot of pressure and thousands of comments to get this far. Without your efforts and the efforts and dogged pushing determination by yourselves and Exaro we wouldn’t be where we finally are today. Well done – the result is that finally there is a trial – at least of the facts. Keep reporting on what happens in court. We understand you can only say what has occurred in court without conjecture or adding salient facts not mentioned in court. But if salient facts are omitted you can write them up once the case has concluded. The legal process needs to be followed with eagle eyes. I’m still not confident that the truth will emerge, but you deserve our thanks and congratulations for getting the issue this far.

  2. I can’t seem to insert photos directly, so apologies for the link:


    Please feel free to delete this comment and use the photos if you wish!

  3. dpack

    another swerve ball but goddard suggests 2020 as a possible date for her conclusions.

    working from the proposed and actual time scale of the inquiry into events in derry on 30 jan 1972 goddard should be able to report a sanitized version of investigating her brief about 2045.
    as her brief is much broader than a one day in derry time slot and involves perhaps hundreds of thousands of victims ,witnesses and criminals rather than thirteen,a few hundreds and a few dozens i might be waiting til a far later date.

  4. Gary

    The foreign media are able to report. They wouldn’t be prejudicing the trial and, anyway, legal restrictions/injunctions can’t be enforced where there’s no jurisdiction.

    As was seen before, super injunctions raised for various footballers, actors etc were, quite legally ignored.

    Scottish websites will be able to carry on reporting on any allegations etc…

    • InLooker

      I well remember a football fan blog at that time on which someone asked “are we talking here of “Saving Private Ryan” & the almost immediate reply was “No,saving Ryan’s privates”.

  5. chrisb

    Exaro have an interesting article on Ian Henning, who was involved in the legal defence of Frank Beck and therefore a threat to the protection of Janner. Henning died in a car accident. Very convenient for some as of course was the death of Beck himself due to food poisoning. Also the suggestion that Janner and the local Chief Constable were fellow Masons.

  6. Becky

    Wonder what would happen if someone has taken screen shots of prejudicial comments made by certain bloggers/commenters about Lord Janner and then were to use them to blackmail the originators by threatening to hand them over to the police unless a required sum of money is paid?

  7. dpack

    re wandering threads ,is it just me that thinks the recent tabloid coverage of the dancuak private lives is

    a intrusive ?
    b deliberate ?
    c related to his activity in exposing evil ?
    d there is no d due to other sub judice matters

    the front page of the sun ,which i was offered as a freebie today,is less than nice and it reinforced my answers to the questions above.

    t i recon here is a spoiler campaign and it seems rather crude in parts.

    • InLooker

      No,You’re spot on.The full bore smear campaign has only just started.How dare this upstart with a “gasp” foreign name try to upset our cosy kiddy-raping applecart.It’s just “not on: is it?..”Bytthe way Old Chap,would you care to pass me that pretty young boy after you’ve finished with him?.Fair goes,dontcha know,old chap”.?.

  8. Mr Trellis

    I would suggest you watch the recent episode of “The Last Leg” on channel 4 pretty soon

  9. Keith Basehall

    Wise words, Gojam. Let’s keep schtum until the process has concluded. We don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot over this. The time *will* come when we can air our views…

  10. nuggy

    is this a trial of the facts or a real trial if its just a trial of the facts i cant see a problem if its a trail welll yes the danger your comments could land in prison.if there not scrupulously fair.

  11. Pingback: Lord Janner: Contempt Of Court. |

  12. callie

    I have no faith that the real truth will be revealed. A trial of facts does not, apparently, include a defence case. I hope this information is wrong, otherwise it will be a travesty and nothing will have been satisfactorily proved.

    • Andy Barnett

      I dare say that’s the strategy he / his lawyers will adopt – refuse to play by not appointing defence, them waiting until after the trial to reveal where the prosecution case was flawed. With 2 QCs in the family, I’m sure they know all the tricks.

      One question for Gojam – are we still free to cast doubt on his claim of dementia? If he is faking, that wouldn’t in itself imply guilt, merely the desire not to go through a trial.

      • My own view is that it would be better to drop any topic related to Janner until his trial this is not because I think it can’t be discussed without being prejudicial but because such conversations, debates, threads have a habit of wandering and could stray into risky areas.

  13. Bruce Goldfinch

    Wise words Gojam, I just hope that people take heed despite the temptation to vent their spleen.

  14. dpack

    a fair trial is always a good thing in such matters.

    on an entirely different subject a chap called andrew windsor has become chancellor of huddersfield university ,and apparently “He has a real commitment to the development of entrepreneurial and digital skills among young people and fully appreciates how important they are to the future of ‘UK Plc’


    the last bit of the link address is rather amusing in a trench humor sort of way

  15. BarrieJ

    Whether the lack of previous action regarding Lord Janner has been coincidental with what many people believe to have been a state ‘cover up’ or not, should he be found not guilty as he and his family insist then all may be good. However, there is evidence outside of Lord Janner’s circumstances that there has been a very well orchestrated cover up with regard to other now deceased politicians and members of the establishment. The coincidence of lost paperwork, seized files, ‘a word from above’ etc., suggests to me that a light needs to be shone into some very ugly corners of our country. I believe the government will do everything within its power to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
    I don’t know what we can do to keep up the pressure – look at how the Chilcott enquiry is playing out, a committee stuffed with Blair apologists, consuming millions and just kicking it along the road.
    I despair.

  16. Reblogged this on Desiring Progress and commented:
    Very wise words from Gojam here – we have worked to make this trial happen, don’t do anything now which could jeopardise it.

  17. Andy Barnett

    The only thing survivors and campaigners should care about is that the proper legal process is followed – in all cases like Janner’s – and that the truth about an alleged establishment coverup is made public.

    If Janner is innocent then the trial should reveal that fact, to his and everyone’s benefit. If he is guilty, and his guilt was covered up, then again we need to know that fact, along with how that coverup was achieved.

    The consequences of this trial go beyond thise of one senile old man and his alleged victims. It’s about the suggestion of a systematic cover-up that allowed tens of thousands of children’s lives to be ruined or destroyed. If it happened, it amounts to a nothing less then a crime against humanity, in my non-legal opinion.

    So we need to know the truth; we do not need a lynch-mob mentality that serves some communal desire for revenge. That means allowing a fair trial and having an open mind as to his guilt or innocence. WE NEED THE TRUTH. Only when armed with the truth can we as a society prevent these terrible crimes happening again.

  18. joekano76

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.

  19. Many people have been tried in their absence; thereby not defending themselves, but have still been found guilty based on the overwhelming evidence against them. What is the difference here. Janner may have suddenly and conveniently lost his memory but the victims haven’t. This means he is unable to either give evidence to deny or admit his guilt and therefore a trial should be held in his absence and a verdict should be given. Why is the establishment still attempting to cover up their tracks.