Labour peer ‘will escape child abuse charges as he is too ill’: ‘Crimes worse than Cyril Smith’
- Politician, who is in his 80s, faces more than 20 allegations of child abuse
- Police probing claims he preyed on victims in children’s home while an MP
- Suspect faces allegations of rape and sexual assault spanning decades
- Those close to case claim allegations are ‘more serious’ than Cyril Smith scandal
A Labour peer accused of historic child abuse may not face further questioning due to his rapidly failing health.
The politician, who is in his 80s, faces more than 20 allegations of historic abuse at children’s homes.
They include deeply disturbing complaints of rape and serious sexual assault while he was serving as an MP.
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The House of Lords: The peer faces allegations of sexual assault while he was working as an MP
But it was claimed yesterday that doctors have advised that he is unfit to be questioned because he has dementia.
In an unusual move, police have not interviewed the suspect under caution or arrested him over the damaging allegations. Last night they insisted that their criminal investigation continues and a full file of evidence is yet to be handed to prosecutors.
It will ultimately be for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide whether there is enough evidence and it is in the public interest to put him on trial. The Mail knows the identity of the peer, but has chosen not to name him as he has not been publicly identified by police.
Those close to the case highlighted that the allegations faced by the Labour peer are more serious than those in the Cyril Smith scandal. The suspect faces allegations of rape and serious sexual assault spanning several decades.
It is understood that as many as 25 victims have now come forward to police in the wake of national publicity around their operation.
One source said: ‘Police have been shocked by the stories told by some of the victims and are determined to follow the evidence wherever it leads.’
Police are probing claims that he preyed on vulnerable young boys at care homes while working as an MP.
Those close to the case highlighted that the allegations faced by the Labour peer are more serious than those in the Cyril Smith (above) scandal
The suspect is accused of using his hobby to get close to his victims and gain their trust. One man said he was seven years old when the politician visited his care home and entertained him and others.
He told police the peer then took him aside and sexually assaulted him.
He told the Daily Mirror: ‘That man humiliated me. He told me to undress then fondled me. It scarred me for life.
‘I complained previously and the police made a mess of it. But they are being very good now.’ Detectives have compiled a dossier of more than 20 complaints against the peer. It is understood that the historical allegations span several decades.
He humiliated me. He told me to undress then fondled me. It scarred me for life.
It is understood his office in the Lords has been searched and computer equipment seized. His home has also been searched.
A preliminary file has been passed to the CPS and prosecutors are expected to make recommendations on how to proceed in the autumn.
Asked why the Labour peer has not been questioned formally, a police spokesman said it was for ‘operational reasons’.
He said: ‘The inquiry continues. A decision on whether to bring charges will rest with the CPS, and so far we have not asked the CPS to make a charging decision.’
A CPS spokesman confirmed a ‘preliminary file’ has been received and lawyers are waiting for the full document.
The peer was not available to comment at his London flat earlier this week