Lord Janner 'unfit' to face court over child sex abuse allegations

Lord Janner is not fit enough to appear in court over child sex abuse charges, his lawyer said today.

The former Labour peer and MP, 87, who has Alzheimer's, faces a trial of fact over 22 child sex charges in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

His lawyer Andrew Smith QC told the first court hearing in the case at Westminster Magistrates Court: "Lord Janner is not in attendance. The reason for that submission on his part is that he is unfit to face the court."

However, chief magistrate Howard Riddle said he would hear evidence from defence medical experts before deciding whether to allow Janner to miss the hearing.

The district judge said: "This would appear on the face of it to be a section 51 hearing, he wouldn't have to enter pleas, he wouldn't have to say anything. I imagine he would be here for less than two minutes. It matters not whether he understands the proceedings."

He added: "There is only one issue: is he fit enough to come through that door for less than one minute?"

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