A former Leicester city councillor is to talk frankly this weekend about arguably the worst child abuse scandal in England, which happened in Leicestershire in the 1970s and 1980s.
Paul Gosling, a city councillor from 1987 to 1991, has co-written Abuse of Trust about the sexual and physical abuse of at least 200 children at care homes run by Leicestershire County Council.
Most of the book centres on the regime of terror against the children between 1973 and 1986 waged by the council manager Frank Beck.
A new chapter deals with Beck’s most powerful alleged accomplice — the late Leicester MP Greville Janner.
Mr Gosling will sign copies of the book at Waterstones in Highcross, Leicester, on Saturday (8th October, 2016), where he will be available to talk with journalists and readers.
Janner was Labour MP for Leicester North West from 1970 to 1974 and for Leicester West from 1974 to 1997, when he joined the House of Lords as Baron Janner of Braunstone.
Janner died in December 2015 aged 87, charged with 22 counts of the sexual abuse of boys. He had been ruled unfit to stand trial because of his advanced dementia.
The Crown Prosecution Service has admitted that police and prosecutors missed at least three chances to prosecute Janner while he was a politician.
Abuse of Trust: Frank Beck and the Leicestershire Children’s Home Scandal by Paul Gosling and Mark D’Arcy, a former Leicester Mercury journalist, was first published in 1998.
It was re-published in August 2016 – with a new chapter on Janner — amid newfound concern that serial perpetrators of historic sexual abuse were allowed to go unpunished.
One theory is that criminal inquiries were meddled with by powerful figures in policing and the political establishment.
In July 2016, it emerged that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has served gross misconduct notices on at least 11 individuals in its ongoing investigation into the Janner case.
The Leicestershire abuse scandal is one of 12 being investigated by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which was last week hit by the resignation of its lead lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC. There are now reports that IICSA will not consider the allegations against Janner.
IICSA is currently on its fourth chairperson, Alexis Jay OBE, who chaired the inquiry into child abuse in Rotherham, which found that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited by organized paedophiles in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.
Paul Gosling, who now works as a journalist in Derry, Northern Ireland, will fly to Leicester to give the talk.
He said: “I’m looking forward to returning to Leicester and at last being able to talk openly about the allegations against Greville Janner after the veil of secrecy was finally lifted.”
Radio, TV and print journalists are welcome to speak to Paul Gosling – and to run features — ahead of the talk. As well as being a Leicester city councillor for four years, he is also a former secretary of Leicester District Labour Party and of Leicester and District Trades Council.
TIME OF TALK
11 am to 2 pm, Saturday 8th October 2016
Free. No ticket needed, just turn up
Waterstones, Highcross, Churchgate, Leicester, LE1 4AJ
Abuse of Trust: Frank Beck and the Leicestershire Children's Home Scandal published by Canbury Press ISBN 9780993040788
Contact: Martin Hickman, Publisher