|Lord Janner pictured after a previous court appearance Photo: Reuters|
In a hearing at the Old Bailey on the 87-year-old's mental health, Mr Justice Openshaw said the peer was suffering from "advanced and disabling" dementia.
He detailed reports from four leading psychiatrists and psychologists which had been commissioned by both prosecution and defence - all of which agreed the peer's mental health was very poor. Janner did not attend the latest court hearing.
"Medical opinion is... all one way," said the judge. "The inevitable and irresistible conclusion is the defendant has advanced and disabling dementia which is deteriorating and irreversible and, accordingly, I find that he is unfit to plead."
At a the last hearing in October, both prosecution and defence barristers made it clear there was no dispute between them that Janner was not well enough to stand trial.
But the judge told them that the matter should be decided following a "short opening" in court as the public was "entitled to know" why.
Janner is accused of 22 sex abuse charges and there is due to be a rare "trial of the facts" heard in the new year.
Lord Janner and his daughter arrive at Westminster Magistrates' Court for an earlier hearing
One of the doctors who examined Janner on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service was Professor Michael Kopelman, an expert in memory loss and a professor of neuropsychiatry at King's College London.
He examined Janner four times between February last year and September this year.
Summarising the most recent report by Prof Kopelman, the judge said of Janner: "He can now hardly speak and when he does it is to make inappropriate, repetitive statements.
"He scarcely recognised his own family and he has entirely lost his short term memory.
"He is unable to give any account of his professional and Parliamentary history."
Earlier this year, a review of the case led the Crown Prosecution Service to overturn its decision not pursue charges against Janner due to his ill-health.
Janner is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Twenty-one of the offences relate to complainants who were aged 16 or under at the time.
Mr Justice Openshaw chose not to refer to the defendant by his noble title, instead calling him "Greville Janner" and noting that he had been "indicted as Lord Janner".
He added that it was important to balance openness over the decision not to proceed with a criminal trial with "protecting the defendant's privacy".
The judge acknowledged there had been what he described as "unjustifiable scepticism" among some members of the public regarding the legal process surrounding Janner.
The judge added that the peer had been examined by "eminent" doctors.
"Each is of the opinion that the defendant is suffering from such severe disability, namely dementia ... that he is unfit to be plead or to be tried," the judge said.
Prof Kopelman's report from March this year said: "Lord Janner would be unable to understand the charges against him, to comprehend that a juror could be challenged, to instruct his lawyers, to comprehend the details of evidence, or to follow and recall the court proceedings."
Another expert who examined Janner on behalf of the prosecution, Dr Kate Humphreys from St Thomas' Hospital - which sits on the River Thames opposite the Palace of Westminster - said it had been impossible to carry out the full range of cognitive tests because his condition was so poor.
His mental health problems are a combination of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, she concluded.
|Greville Janner in more coherent days Photo: Rex|
Based on this report the judge said: "During cognitive testing he appeared somewhat perplexed and mildly irritable; his speech was abnormal, with periodic slurring of words, some being incomprehensible.
"He exhibited a condition known as ‘logoclonia’, being the repetition of simple words; he then had only a limited vocabulary.
"Most of his answers were inappropriate to the questions asked; indeed, he gave virtually no coherent answers to the questions asked.
"He was often bewildered by simple requests, even when made in simple language and given repeatedly.
"The defence cognitive testing he appeared somewhat perplexed and mildly irritable; his speech was abnormal, with periodic slurring of words, some being incomprehensible.
"He exhibited a condition known as ‘logoclonia’, being the repetition of simple words; he then had only a limited vocabulary. Most of his answers were inappropriate to the questions asked; indeed, he gave virtually no coherent answers to the questions asked. He was often bewildered by simple requests, even when made in simple language and given repeatedly."
|Janner and daughter arrive at a previous court appearance|
Allegations of child sex abuse are first made against Lord Janner in 1991 during the trial of convicted paedophile Frank Beck, but have persistently dogged the Labour Peer since then
Janner wins Leicester North West
Greville Janner, a qualified barrister, successfully wins the seat of Leicester North West for Labour and enters the House of Commons aged 41.
Police investigate Janner
Leicestershire Police investigates allegations that Janner was responsible for abuse at children's homes in Leicester. Janner is investigated alongside Frank Beck - a former Royal Marine turned social worker who was in charge of several children’s homes in Leicestershire from 1973 - 1986. Janner is questioned by appointment.
Frank Beck goes on trial
Frank Beck goes on trial charged with abusing more than 100 children in his care. During the case he claims he had intervened to prevent Janner from abusing and buggering a child at one of the homes.
Evidence against Janner
A former children’s home resident gives evidence at the trial in which he claims Janner regularly abused him.
Beck sentenced to five life terms
|Frank Beck (Picture: Richard Watt)|
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Janner becomes a baron
Steps down as an MP and is ennobled as a Life Peer taking the title Baron Janner of Braunstone.
Victim claims abuse by Janner
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Another victim comes forward
Another alleged victim comes forward claiming to have been abused by three people, one of whom was Janner. The evidence is passed to the CPS for consideration.
CPS decides there is insufficient evidence to prosecute
Operation Enamel is launched
Operation Enamel is established by Leicestershire Police and more than a dozen allegations are made against Janner.
Police search Janner’s home as part of the investigation
Police search Janner’s Westminster offices
Enough evidence, no prosecution
CPS announce it is not in the public interest to prosecute Janner despite there being enough evidence to proceed. DPP Alison Saunders announces his severe dementia means he would not be fit to stand trial.
External QC is appointed to review the decision
U-turn on Janner - he will be prosecuted
Alison Saunders announces she is reversing the decision not to prosecute the former Labour peer for child sexual offences, following a review carried out by an independent legal expert.
Alison Saunders faces calls to resign
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders faces calls to resign after she was forced into a U-turn over her decision.
Janner 'fit to attend court'
Lord Greville Janner after appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London (Picture: Reuters)
Chief magistrate Howard Riddle rules that Lord Janner is fit to attend court to answer charges of historic sex abuse. Lawyers for Lord Janner later lose a High Court bid to prevent him from having to do so.
Janner 'unfit' to plead in trial
A senior judge rules Lord Janner is unfit to plead in a criminal trial over a range of sex abuse charges. Mr Justice Openshaw made the ruling after hearing details about Lord Janner's dementia.