Lord Janner has failed to show up at the Old Bailey for the start of his trial into alleged child sex offences.

The 87-year-old Labour peer, who suffers from dementia, was not required to attend the preliminary hearing. He is accused of committing 22 sex offences in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and faced the unusual proceedings of being tried by the facts of the case in his absence.

Mr Justice Sweeney, who is the presiding judge, will hear the case from 2.30pm today (01 September) in the absence of the defendant. Janner delayed making an appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court for an initial hearing with defence barrister Paul Ozin arguing it would be "barbaric, inhumane and uncivilised" to force his client attend.

But chief magistrate Howard Riddle concluded he was fit to face charges and one day later Janner appeared in the dock to confirm his identity. At the end of the hearing, which lasted less than a minute, his daughter Marion said: "Come on dad, let's go and have a nice ice-cream."

Janner, of Springfield Avenue in Muswell Hill, north London, remains on unconditional bail.