A former lawmaker who now has severe dementia has failed to appear in court to face charges of sex crimes against children.

Greville Janner did not attend a hearing Friday at Westminster Magistrates' Court, despite being ordered to do so to face a "trial of the facts" to be held before a judge and jury. Janner's attorney, Paul Ozin, says he would be applying for Janner to appear via video link.

Prosecutors originally said they would not charge Janner over alleged offenses against boys several decades ago because his Alzheimer's meant he was not fit to stand trial. After victims expressed outrage, the decision was reversed.

Janner was a Labour Party lawmaker from 1970-97 and later served in the House of Lords. He is accused of 22 offenses.