Radio Sandwell News

Broadcaster Stuart Hall admits indecent assaults

2013-05-02 17:21:49

Stuart Hall

BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has admitted 14 charges of indecently assaulting girls including one aged nine.

The 83-year-old of Wilmslow, Cheshire, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to the offences, involving 13 victims, which occurred between 1967 and 1985.

Three charges of indecent assault and one of rape will lie on the court file.

His lawyer said Hall apologised to his victims and added: "He is all too aware that his disgrace is complete."

He has been bailed until sentencing on 17 June.

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC is appalled by the disgraceful actions of Stuart Hall and we would like to express our sympathy to his victims. We will continue to work with the police to assist them in this and any other inquiries they are making."

'Opportunistic predator'

Hall admitted the offences last month but they could not be revealed due to reporting restrictions.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, Nazir Afzal, described Hall as an "opportunistic predator".

He added: "We prosecuted Stuart Hall because the evidence of the victims clearly established a pattern of behaviour that was unlawful and for which no innocent explanation could be offered.

"His victims did not know each other and almost two decades separated the first and last assaults but almost all of the victims, including one who was only nine at the time of the assault, provided strikingly similar accounts.

"Whether in public or private, Hall would first approach under friendly pretences and then bide his time until the victim was isolated.

"I would like to thank the victims for having had the bravery to come forward. This case clearly shows that the victims of abuse will not be denied justice by the passage of time and abusers will be held to account."

Mr Afzal said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) would not be proceeding with the rape charge as the woman who made the allegation no longer wished to give evidence in light of the guilty pleas.

Football commentator

The court heard in the 1980s Hall molested a nine-year-old girl by putting his hand up her clothing.

He also kissed a 13-year-old girl on the lips after he said to her: "People need to show thanks in other ways."

Stuart Hall

Judith Moritz North of England
correspondent, BBC News

Court Ten at Preston Crown Court was
so packed for the short hearing, the police
officers present had to sit on the jury bench.

Stuart Hall cut an elderly figure, allowed to
sit alongside his barristers rather than
being made to sit inside the dock.

He only spoke to confirm his details, and
sat impassively during proceedings, as his
lawyer told the court that Stuart Hall was sorry.

On another occasion in the 1970s he fondled the breast of a girl aged 16 or 17, the court was told.

Hall was initially arrested in December and made a statement labelling the claims "pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious".

He has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century, and was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Year Honours.

The former It's A Knockout presenter was working as a football commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live and wrote a weekly sport column for the Radio Times magazine until his arrest.


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